TMJ & Bruxism Treatment

Do you experience chronic headaches or facial pain? Is chewing or opening and closing your mouth difficult and painful? Many people who experience these symptoms never consider the possibility of dealing with TMJ problems or TMD. 

If these symptoms are so persistent that they affect your quality of life, it’s time to find a solution to relieve your pain. At Unkel & Shibilski Dental, we provide effective TMJ treatment that we individualize to meet each patient’s unique situation. 

Are TMJ and TMD the Same Thing?

Our temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your head and control the movement of the lower jaw. The TMJs are some of the most heavily used joints in the body, and like any other overworked joint, they can become sore and painful. 

When there is a problem with how the TMJ functions, it is called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. 

Why Does My Jaw Joint Hurt?

TMJ-related pain is the joint or surrounding muscles and ligaments that control jaw movement when chewing and speaking. At the same time, these muscles also work to support the head and neck, and all this stress causes the muscles to become painful from overuse.

However, there are several specific reasons why you might experience TMD or jaw joint problems: 

  • Teeth grinding or bruxism 
  • Malocclusions (bite problems)
  • Tooth misalignment
  • Jaw injuries 
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic anxiety or stress

Dr. Steve Unkel and Dr. Kelly Shibilski have expertise in identifying and addressing the source of TMJ pain. After taking x-rays and performing a thorough evaluation, they will recommend treatment based on your individual needs. 

Common TMD Symptoms

Some of the most common TMD symptoms our patients experience include: 

  • Jaw joint pain, swelling, or tenderness
  • Migraines and headaches 
  • Head, neck, or shoulder pain
  • Pain when chewing or yawning
  • Worn, broken, or fractured teeth 
  • Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw
  • Jaw locked open or closed
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears

We Offer Non-Invasive TMJ Pain Treatment

The goals of TMJ treatment are to limit its impact on your daily life by decreasing pain and increasing jaw function. At Unkel & Shibilski Dental, we recommend non-invasive, conservative treatments to relieve TMJ pain and other symptoms. 

  • Splint therapy involves wearing a customized oral device over the teeth during sleep. The splint moves the lower jaw slightly forward to prevent contact with the upper jaw. This position helps minimize grinding and clenching and gives the TMJ a chance to rest and recover.
  • We may also refer patients to a physical therapist specializing in TMJ problems and uses various methods to increase function and relieve pain.
  • Yoga, meditation, massage, and prescription medications help manage general stress levels and minimize teeth grinding and clenching, leading to TMJ pain.
  • TMD is often related to an unbalanced or uneven dental bite. In this case, our TMJ dentists may recommend dental crowns or Invisalign treatment to improve the bite and jaw function.

Conservative TMJ treatment at our Inverness dental office in Englewood helps many of our patients, and we are confident that it can make a difference in your daily life.

We Can Help Relieve Your TMJ Pain and Headaches!

Dr. Unkel and Dr. Shibilski understand how a painful jaw joint can impact your quality of life, and they would be happy to evaluate your needs to determine the most effective treatment approach in your case. Please call our Inverness dental office in Englewood, CO, to schedule a convenient appointment.