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TMJ/TMD Therapy - Glastonbury, CT

The Solution to Chronic Jaw Pain

Animation of skull and jawbone If you place your fingers right in front of your earlobes and move your mouth, those little hinges you feel are actually your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. This is what allows your jaw to move fluidly whenever you eat, speak, laugh, or yawn.

Like other joints in the body, it can often develop issues due to stress, strain, injury, or arthritis, which can lead to a TMJ disorder, or TMD. This can cause chronic symptoms like a stiff and painful jaw, frequent headaches/earaches, and even unconscious teeth grinding to name a few.

This is a part of the body that is often completely overlooked by doctors when treating pain in the head, jaw, and neck, and this is why many patients with these problems can’t find long-term relief. Most doctors end up simply treating the symptoms instead of the root cause.

At Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine, our whole philosophy is built upon getting to the root of a problem and providing our patients the answers they need to enjoy a normal, pain-free life.

The Causes & Symptoms of TMD

The most common factors that can lead to a TMD include:

  • A misalignment of the bite
  • Injury to the face/jaw
  • Arthritis in the joint
  • Unconscious teeth grinding (bruxism)

This all puts a strain on the joints and muscles of the jaw, which in turn can lead to muscle tension that can spread throughout the body. This is why a TMD can cause a myriad of symptoms that seemingly have nothing to do with the jaw and teeth.

People suffering with TMD can experience:

  • A stiff, painful jaw
  • A jaw that becomes stuck opening or closing
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders

Some can even develop back pain due to a TMD, as the body is one big interconnected system, and tension and pain in one part can easily cause them in another.

How We Can Help

When a patient comes to see us with these symptoms, the first thing we look at is their TMJ. We’ll take some X-rays to evaluate the joint, and we’ll also test the mobility of the jaw. A high number of migraine patients find out that they are also experiencing jaw pain without even realizing it during this initial exam.

If we do determine that a patient has a TMD, we have a few ways we can address it. For minor cases, we can simply give them stretches to do throughout the day that will help relax the tense facial muscles. If it’s more severe, we may choose to slightly reshape a few teeth to align the bite, or we may prescribe a mouthpiece for them to wear to bed. This will help shift the jaw into a more natural and healthy orientation, enabling the muscles to gradually heal on their own. After a few months of consistent use, most patients are able to go through their day symptom-free.

Come Get the Solution You Need

Right now, millions of Americans are dealing with chronic jaw, head, and neck pain because of a TMD, and most have no clue despite seeing multiple doctors. At Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine, we’re able to get to the root of these kinds of issues to provide patients the long-term relief that they need.

To schedule a consultation so we can start getting you out of pain, contact us today.

TMJ/TMD Therapy FAQs

Do you have an achy jaw or other symptoms of TMD? You may suspect that you could benefit from TMJ therapy. Before you call us to schedule your consultation, however, you may want to learn more about TMD and what to expect from treatment. That is why we have compiled the following brief TMJ therapy FAQ. If you do not see the information you were hoping to find, you are welcome to contact us directly so we can render personal assistance.

What Can I Do at Home to Relieve TMD Symptoms?

It is always best to seek professional help for TMD symptoms. However, you may be able to find some relief from your pain if you:

  • Avoid chewing gum or any tough foods
  • Use heat and/or ice to relax the muscles and reduce swelling
  • Use stress relief techniques to lower your overall stress level
  • Do your best not to clench or grind your teeth (these activities sometimes occur involuntarily during sleep, which is a problem that is often best addressed with a custom nightguard from a dentist)

Will My Insurance Cover My Treatment?

The answer to this TMD therapy FAQ can vary widely. You will have to check the details of your insurance policy to see how it applies. Usually, dental insurance does not cover TMJ/TMD therapy. However, your medical policy might apply. Our team will be happy to file insurance claims on your behalf. If you need additional help to afford your treatment, ask us about low-interest financing through CareCredit or GreenSky.

What if My Doctor Told Me I Need TMJ Surgery?

Most medical and dental professionals regard TMJ surgery as a last resort because it is invasive and may require a long recovery period. If another doctor or practice recommended you for surgery, it certainly will not hurt you to get a second opinion. We want to help you find relief as conservatively as possible! After Dr. Hollinger learns more about you and your unique circumstances, he will recommend what he believes is the best treatment option.

How Is Treatment Different for Acute vs Chronic TMJ Pain?

Chronic pain typically lasts for longer than six months, and acute TMJ pain may last for a moment, for weeks, or for months. These types of pain may have vastly different causes. Dr. Hollinger’s goal will be to learn about the nature of your discomfort, why you are experiencing it, and prescribe a personalized treatment.