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TMJ/TMD Therapy in Yakima

Relieve Chronic Jaw Pain

The temporomandibular joints (also known simply as the TMJ) are an essential part of your oral health, and you can even feel them moving under the skin if you touch your fingers right under your ears and open your mouth. They have the crucial job of connecting the lower jaw to the skull and helping you chew and speak. Unfortunately, strain and/or injury to the surrounding facial muscles can result in severe, painful consequences for the TMJ.

If jaw discomfort has become an unfortunate reality of your day-to-day life, please don’t hesitate to contact Terrace Heights Dental Center in Yakima. Dr. Bonny is very familiar with the tell-tale symptoms of TMJ disorder, and he can help you find relief at last with various treatment techniques.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Man in dental chair holding jaw

TMJ disorder is complex and manifests in patients for many different reasons, from a misaligned bite to a traumatic face injury to the presence of bruxism (teeth grinding). While no two cases exhibit exactly the same symptoms, common signs of this condition include the following:

  • Excessive pain and tenderness located in the jaw
  • Constant discomfort that feels like an earache
  • Difficulty with chewing
  • Constant popping and clicking sounds in the TMJ joints

Dr. Bonny will review your smile and your jaw thoroughly during your initial appointment in order to assess any current damage and determine if it is, in fact, caused by TMJ disorder. Once we’ve confirmed this, our team can start working towards the right treatment solution.

Equilibration / Occlusal Adjustments

Woman being fitted for occlusal guard

If a patient’s case of TMJ disorder is caused by a severely misaligned bite, an occlusal adjustment may be capable of correcting it. This procedure will involve Dr. Bonny carefully and precisely reshaping certain teeth In order to more evenly spread bite pressure and restore harmony to your smile. Restorative and/or cosmetic procedures may be used to accomplish this goal; when faced with more complex cases, our team might need to plan a complete full mouth restoration or smile makeover.

Occlusal Splints

Clear nightguard on metal tray

An occlusal splint is one of the simplest, most effective treatment options for TMJ disorder. This appliance is typically meant to be worn at night and will work to shift the jaw towards it's proper, most comfortable resting position in order to relieve facial pain. In fact, the consistent use of an occlusal splint can even permanently reset the jaw over time for long-lasting improvement.

BOTOX® Injections

Smiling woman in dental chair

Today, BOTOX isn’t just for facial skin improvements! This technique can actually be used to relieve pain caused by TMJ disorder in some cases. This infection blocks nerves from signaling certain muscles and causing contractions. As a result, the involuntary jaw movements that lead to TMJ-related discomfort are minimized or even stopped altogether. Patients may need to repeat treatments every few months in order to see significant results.