TMJ Treatment Sarasota, FL

A general dentist is a dental professional who understands the mechanics of the human jaw and how it functions. This means they play a role in treating a patient with a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or TMJ disorder. Dr. Melvin Benson is a well-educated dentist that can diagnose and treat TMJ disorders.

Dr. Benson offers TMJ treatment in Sarasota, FL for his patients suffering from painful TMJ symptoms. He provides custom-made appliances that prevent bruxism or teeth clenching and grinding. Dr. Benson also provides restorative dentistry treatments to the public in Sarasota, Florida.

TMJ treatment in Sarasota, Florida

What is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge joint that connects the lower jaw skull. This joint exists on each side of the head in front of your ears. They enable basic movements such as chewing, speaking, and yawning. The TMJ consists of a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones working together to promote smooth jaw function.

What is a TMJ Disorder?

A TMJ disorder, or TMD for short, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, muscles, or surrounding structures. This disorder causes pain, discomfort, and poor movement of the jaw joints. Doctors are There is no single cause of TMJ disorders. Many things can lead to TMD including jaw injuries, arthritis, bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), and stress-related habits.

What Causes a TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons and are often the result of several issues with your jaw and bite. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM Joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Crooked teeth and teeth grinding can also lead to stress on the jaw and result in a TMJ disorder.

What Are the Signs of TMD?

Anyone who suffers from issues with their temporomandibular joint knows how debilitating it can be. The pain can often be hard to control. Many of the TMJ symptoms are similar to other medical problems making it hard to diagnose.

  • Tightness in the jaw or facial muscles, particularly after waking
  • Teeth clenching and grinding
  • Jaw popping or clicking when chewing and speaking
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Pain in the jaw, cheeks, neck, or teeth (orofacial pain)

Please contact our office if you notice any sudden changes in your bite or jaw. We will provide a diagnosis before we recommend treatment. 

TMD Diagnosis and Treatment

First, we will perform a dental examination to look for signs of TMD. We will check your jaw joints and look at your jaw movement. Additionally, we will see if there is any muscle tenderness or difficulty moving your jaw. We will inquire about various things such as:

  • Is it hard for you open your mouth or close your mouth?
  • Do you suffer from chronic facial pain?
  • Do you wake up with frequent headaches?

These are common signs of a TMJ disorder. Additionally, Dr. Benson will need use diagnostic tools to diagnose your condition.

Digital X-rays are quick and non-invasive tools we use to view the teeth and jaw. These x-rays look for jaw damage, tooth wear and damage, and malocclusion. In extreme cases, you may need a CT scan.

TMJ Treatment in Sarasota, FL

Dr. Benson can provide you with a custom-made nightguard to treat your TMJ disorder. A night guard, also known as an occlusal splint or bite guard, is a dental appliance that helps to stabilize the jaw.

Patients who grind their teeth or clench their teeth together will benefit from it. You will wear the oral device at night during sleep or during high stress situations. This type of oral appliance therapy will help you find relief from TMJ symptoms.

The process to have a nightguard made is simple and fast. During the first appointment, we will take dental impressions of your upper and/or lower teeth. We will send these molds to a local dental laboratory. They will fabricate the nightguard out of hard acrylic.

At your next appointment, we will try the appliance on to make sure it fits. If we need to alter the nightguard to ensure a balanced fit, we can do that at the appointment. Our staff will give you instructions on how to wear it and care for it.

We may suggest other treatments such as relaxation techniques, pain medication, physical therapy, and muscles relaxants in extreme cases.

The night guard serves several purposes:

  • Prevents Teeth Grinding: It creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. When grind or clench your teeth, it will minimize the impact of grinding and reducing the risk of dental damage.
  • Relieves Jaw Muscle Strain: By providing a cushioning effect, the night guard helps alleviate strain on the jaw muscles and joints.
  • Stabilizes the Jaw: It helps maintain a more stable jaw position, reducing excessive pressure on the TMJ.
  • Protects the Teeth: The night guard can prevent wear and damage to the teeth caused by grinding.

How do I care for my nightguard?

To care for your nightguard, soak it in an oral appliance cleaner every day. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to gently clean it and remove debris and bacteria. Avoid hot water, as it may distort the material.

Store it in a ventilated case during the day, and keep it away from pets. Dogs seem to love to chew on these types oral appliances, permanently ruining them.

Avoid eating or drinking anything other than water when your nightguard is in your mouth. Regularly inspect for wear and tear, and replace it as recommended by your dentist. Follow your dentist’s instructions on how to clean and care for it. Proper cleaning will ensure its effectiveness and longevity in managing teeth grinding and TMJ-related issues.

Schedule a Consultation for TMJ Treatment in Sarasota FL

Does your jaw pop or click when you eat hard or chewy foods? Do you often wake up with a headache or migraine? You may have a TMJ disorder.

Call Integrated Dental of Florida for TMJ treatment today at 941-270-9755. You can also request a dentist appointment with us on our website. If you have any questions for us, let us know at your next dental visit, and we can help.