For what feels like the millionth morning in a row, you wake up with a sore jaw, a painful headache, and facial pain. You’ve gone to your dentist and your general doctor about the problem but they’ve yet to give you a real, solid solution. Your dentist gave you a nightguard to wear but you still feel that persistent pain in your jaw and facial bones twenty-four hours a day. So, what can be done to help manage the pain? Or, better yet, get rid of the problem altogether? Here are a few things our TMJ specialists do to help alleviate TMD pain.
Dental TENSing is a type of electrical stimulation therapy that helps relax the muscles in your face and jaw. A low-frequency device sends transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (T.E.N.S.) into the muscular tissue, encouraging it to relax.
The process sounds a bit scary but it’s painless and can offer a lot of relief for people struggling with constant TMD pain. When you sit down for your first TENSing, you may find the electrical currents a little uncomfortable at first because they make your muscles twitch. Within an hour or so, your muscles will completely loosen up and you’ll feel calm and relaxed.
For you, the TENSing process helps temporarily alleviate discomfort. For dentists, TENSing shows where the jaw and the skull naturally want to sit — when the muscles aren’t tense. That information can help dentists create a treatment plan for the patient.
You probably already know that Invisalign can correct a crooked smile but did you know it can also treat TMD? At Stanley Dentistry, our team starts a TMD consultation by taking a Conebeam CT scan of the patient’s entire jaw, neck, and skull. This scan helps Dr. Harold determine where the problem lies and how he can fix it. If misaligned teeth are part of the problem, Invisalign may be part of the solution.
Invisalign can help move the teeth into the best, most natural position for your jaw. Even if you like the appearance of your smile already, the slightest bit of misalignment may be causing your jaw pain. Many patients who use Invisalign as part of their TMD treatment plan see real results in only a few weeks. There is rarely an overnight fix for TMD but with Invisalign, you can get real, long-lasting pain relief in a reasonable amount of time.
Invisalign is amazing but there are still cases where traditional orthodontics are more effective. If your dental misalignment is particularly tricky, Dr. Harold may recommend using braces to treat your TMD.
Dr. Harold is currently taking new patients. Just call 919-460-9665 to set up a consultation.