senior with pain in jaw

For many people with TMJ, finding the right doctor can be a years-long quest. They may see general doctors, neurologists, chiropractors, and physical therapists, all with little or no success. But if you haven’t yet seen a neuromuscular dentist for your condition, you should. Here’s why.

Finally Get Relief from Symptoms

If you’ve been suffering from TMJ symptoms for years, you may be frustrated with all the symptoms. These may include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Worn or damaged teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Ringing in the ears, ear pain or fullness, vertigo and other ear symptoms

Some of these you may not even have realized were connected to your TMJ. Many people with TMJ are diagnosed with migraines and may not realize the other symptoms are part of the condition.

Validation

When you go to many doctors over a long period of time to find the right treatment, it’s almost inevitable that someone–family, coworkers, employers, even doctors–will imply that your symptoms aren’t real, or are at least partially “convenient.” You know that your condition is real, but those words still hurt.

But when a neuromuscular dentist is able to objectively and scientifically measure your TMJ, that all goes away. Your pain is real, and finding that out is in and of itself a significant relief.

Better Sleep

TMJ can significantly interfere with your sleep. The constantly tense jaw muscles can wake you up at night or make it hard to sleep. It can be hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in where you won’t be aggravating your jaw.

In addition, TMJ is often linked to sleep apnea. TMJ and sleep apnea can often be treated together with a combination of oral appliances. Since sleep apnea can make you wake up hundreds of times a night and prevent you from achieving the deeper levels of sleep, treating it can make it easier to sleep.

More Energy

Until you get your TMJ treated, you probably won’t realize just how much it’s sapping your energy. Partly, this is related to the sleep interference. When you sleep better, you’ll have more energy during the day.

But it’s also TMJ itself that is taking your energy. Your tense jaw muscles work all day, draining your energy reserves. You can end up feeling trapped and exhausted, even though you did little during your day. But once your jaw muscles find rest, you’ll have more energy for enjoying your life.

Drug-Free, Minimally Invasive Treatment

One thing that sets neuromuscular dentists apart from some other doctors is that they favor drug-free treatments. If you have pain, many doctors will habitually prescribe some kind of medication. Drugs can sometimes be effective, but they come with side effects and risks, including the risk of dependency. Other doctors may recommend surgery for TMJ.

But neuromuscular dentists prefer a removable oral appliance. This oral appliance has few side effects, and doesn’t carry a risk of addiction or dependendence. You won’t develop rebound headaches or other effects that can come from drug treatment.

Restore Your Smile

Full mouth reconstruction isn’t always used for TMJ treatment, but it might be recommended if you’ve experienced serious damage to your teeth. Full mouth reconstruction allows your teeth to perform the role an oral appliance had been playing, but it also means that your smile will be restored to a youthful health and beauty.

This can make you feel less self-conscious and make it easier for you to share your smile on a daily basis. Having a beautiful smile is its own reward.

Are You Ready for TMJ Treatment?

If you are tired of living with TMJ and want to enjoy the benefits of treatment in Wilmington, NC, please call (910) 392-6060 today for an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Michael Kuzma at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.