Non-Surgical TMJ Pain Relief
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD) is a condition that can cause severe facial pain and discomfort. Dr. Timmerman has successfully provided TMJ therapy for years to patients in our Seattle dentist office. Whether you’re living with TMJ or only suffer from occasional discomforts, we have the right type of non-invasive therapy that can help you live pain-free again.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
Although the manifestations of TMJ disorders can vary from person to person, there are several common symptoms that affect the majority of patients with the chronic condition:
- Difficulty opening or closing
- Popping, grinding, or clicking of the joint
- Joints that lock in place
- Abnormal tooth wear
- Pain throughout the face, head, neck, and shoulders
- Damage or wear to your teeth or dental restorations
Dr. Lance Timmerman provides comprehensive, non-surgical TMJ therapy in the Seattle area. We provide patients with a neuromuscular care approach that prevents dysfunctional use of the joint, and as a result, symptoms are reduced. These non-invasive treatments help to naturally correct the jaw function and thereby reverse the conditions that cause pain and symptoms of TMJ disorder.
Ask About Our TMJ Guards
Comfortable, removable bite guards can teach your jaw where to move and settle for a proper resting position. This prevents strain on the tissues around the TMJ and thus reduces discomfort. They also reduce the amount of tension on the joint throughout the day so that it has a chance for the muscles around it to relax. Wearing a bite guard when you suffer from chronic clenching or bruxism is an effective way to prevent damage to your teeth or jaw.
“Living with TMJ disorder and avoiding treatment can cause long-term consequences and joint damage. TMJ disorder is something that does not go away on its own. In fact, it can damage your smile, wear out your teeth, create long-term muscle stiffness and tension, and lead to pain when you open and close your mouth.”
—Dr. Lance Timmerman
Dr. Timmerman’s 3-Step TMJ Treatment Process
As a dentist who is trained in the neuromuscular treatment of TMJ disorders, Dr. Timmerman approaches the treatment in a 3-step process.
Step 1: Eliminate muscle pain
Your pain and discomfort is Dr. Timmerman’s top priority when it comes to treating TMJ disorders. We implement low frequency transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation (something that is sometimes used in chiropractor, physical therapy, or massage locations) to relax the tension away from your jaw muscles. This sensation increases blood flow and helps the muscles to eliminate toxins that create discomfort.
Step 2: Stabilizing the biting pattern
Temporary appliances may be needed to stabilize the way your teeth bite together so that no more damage can be done. This device fits over your natural teeth to help make adjustments in your bite pattern without actually adjusting your natural teeth. It serves as a temporary stabilizer until the bite can be corrected permanently.
Step 3: Lifetime management
Once your TMJ symptoms are corrected and the causes intercepted, Dr. Timmerman will continue to improve factors of your smile that may make you susceptible to relapse. Examples include correcting the alignment of your teeth through orthodontic therapy, restoring the normal function of your smile with full mouth reconstruction, adjusting the biting edges of your teeth, or creating overlays that allow your bite to fit together properly.