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TMJ Disorder (TMD)


Do you have chronic jaw pain?  You may be one of the 35 million American who have problems with the joint in their jaw.   At Townsley Family Dentistry in Foley, AL, we keep on top of developing solutions to help those with TMD to get the relief that they need.


What is TMJ, and what causes it?

TMJ disorder (TMD) causes pain and tenderness in your jaw joint and surrounding ligaments. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints and ligaments found in the jaw. 

Pain and tenderness in this area can be caused by many things like an improper bite, teeth grinding, physical trauma, or even arthritis in the joint. Inflammation or irritation in this joint can cause jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or pain in the neck or shoulders. 

How can TMJ disorders be treated?

Our dentist can diagnose a TMJ disorder during a dental exam. He may also take imaging scans of your facial bones, teeth, and sinuses to diagnose TMJ disorders. 


Treatments can range from the simplicity of cold packs on the face all the way to surgery on the jaw, depending on the severity of the problem. 

Our dentist will start with the least invasive treatments first and then proceed to more involved ones if needed. 

Potential treatments?

  • Jaw exercises and stretches

  • Ice packs or moist heat

  • Eating soft foods

  • Over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation

  • Splints or night guards are worn to protect teeth

  • Dental treatments like crowns, bridges, or braces may be prescribed if the severity calls for them. 

  • Injections of pain medication or botox can also aid in reducing pain and inflammation. 

TMJ surgery

If these less invasive treatments are not effective and the patient still experiences high levels of pain, the dentist may recommend surgery for TMJ disorder.

There are several types of TMJ surgery, all of which aim to clean the joint and restore any dislodged discs to their proper places in the process. This ultimately reduces inflammation in the joint and decreases pain.

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