People who suffer from pain caused by temporomandibular joint disorder may wear splints or mouth guards at night to help alleviate discomfort and to prevent them from the unhealthy oral habits that exacerbate the problem while they sleep.
In addition to offering new and existing patients of our Cumming dental practice this type of treatment, now we offer an innovative appliance that can help those with TMJ disorders during the day, too.
The TMJ NextGeneration™ Device is a medical device that treats the temporomandibular joint at the closest access point, which is the ear canal.
Your path to daytime TMJ relief begins with a visit to our office where Dr. Brian Carpenter conducts an evaluation to diagnose TMJ disorder. Then we take impressions of your ear canals and send them off to a laboratory where your custom devices are manufactured. You will receive your devices within two to three weeks.
How Does it Work?
Once inserted into your ear canals, these hollow devices are larger than your ear canal when your jaw is closed. This difference in size applies subtle pressure to the ear canal walls, the TMJ, and surrounding nerve tissue and muscle. This pressure discourages you from clenching your jaw and tensing your jaw muscles. The pressure dissipates when your jaw returns to an open bite position.
Why Should I Treat My TMJ Disorder?
While the pain caused by TMJ disorder isn’t life-threatening, it certainly can interfere with your quality of life.
Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Facial or jaw joint pain or tenderness.
- Discomfort, tenderness and pain in the neck and shoulders, as well as in or near the ear when chewing, speaking, or opening your mouth wide.
- Clicking, popping or grating noises when opening your mouth wide.
- Jaws that get stick or lock.
- A tired feeling in your face.
- Difficulty chewing, or a sudden uncomfortable bite, as though your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly.
- Swelling on the side of your face.
- Headaches that can resemble migraines.
These symptoms can become increasingly uncomfortable if left untreated. Please call our office today if you experience any of the above symptoms and you wish to be evaluated for TMJ disorder. Dr. Carpenter will conduct a thorough exam and offer a treatment recommendation.