Millions of people suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (also called TMJ or TMD). Still, it can be challenging to find a dentist who has a deep understanding of the disorder and provides effective treatment options for the condition. If you are located in the Payson, UT area and have been searching for a dentist who can provide you with a customized TMJ care plan, Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson and the team at Gunnerson Dental are here to help.
What is TMJ disorder, and what causes it?
The TMJs are the joints connecting your jaw to your skull and are responsible for opening and closing your mouth, moving your jaw side-to-side, and all of the other complex movements that your jaw makes daily. These joints are susceptible to pain and dysfunction due to a variety of factors, such as:
Clenching and grinding your teeth
Injury to the jaw area
Jaw or tooth misalignment
Other anatomical issues
Even something as simple as chewing gum regularly can stress these sensitive joints and cause pain and inflammation. Patients suffering from TMJ can have a wide array of symptoms, such as:
Pain in the jaw, neck, or ears
Popping and clicking sounds when closing or opening the jaw
Dr. Gunnerson understands the complex nature of TMJ disorder and works with patients to identify the root cause of their pain to find practical solutions. Some of the therapies offered to patients suffering from TMJ disorder at Gunnerson Dental include:
Behavioral modification coaching: Sometimes, simple lifestyle modifications can make a big difference in your TMJ symptoms. From learning how to manage stress effectively to make small changes such as posture adjustments, you can take the pressure off your TMJs and find relief from pain.
Orthodontic appliances: For many patients, a custom-made oral orthodontic device designed to align the jaw can significantly relieve painful TMJ symptoms. Similarly, patients who clench and grind their teeth at night can benefit from a nightguard that helps reduce the pressure placed on the sensitive joints and provides relief.
Cold laser therapy: This novel therapy uses light photons to penetrate deep into the tissues surrounding the TMJs, where they reduce inflammation and pain nearly instantaneously. This therapy also stimulates your cells’ healing capabilities, allowing tissue and muscle to recover from long-term, chronic issues.
Myofunctional therapy: In some cases, TMJ symptoms arise from under-functioning muscles in the mouth and jaw area. Myofunctional therapy can be used in these cases to activate those muscles and improve their function for more significant support of the TMJs and symptom relief.
Surgery: In some cases, issues with the anatomical structures cause TMJ disorder and can only be effectively treated with surgery. At Gunnerson Dental, we always work with you to identify less invasive options that may work well before recommending surgery.
Schedule your personalized TMJ consultation
If you are looking for options for TMJ pain relief, call Gunnerson Dental in Payson, Utah, today to schedule your consultation! New patients can reach us at (801) 877-1126, and existing patients can call (801) 877-1126.
Dr. Cheyn Gunnerson provides personalized dental care in a comfortable environment in Payson. Click below and reach out to Gunnerson Dental to meet Dr. Gunnerson and his team in person for all your smile and oral health care needs!