Dr. Brett Hester in Valdosta, GA, can treat patients suffering from neck, face, and jaw pain associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. He uses oral appliances to reduce strain on the jaw joints, easing symptoms and improving a patient’s quality of life. Most patients notice significant improvements in their symptoms in just a few days of starting this non-invasive TMJ disorder treatment. 

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects your lower and upper jaw. Located just in front of the ear, it works in tandem with muscles and ligaments so you can chew and speak. Even a slight misalignment can place pressure on the joint, leading to pain.

There is no single cause of TMJ disorder. Stress is a common factor, as it may lead you to clench your teeth and jaw. Other suspected causes include teeth grinding (bruxism); injury to the jaw, head, or neck, such as whiplash; dislocation of the joint; and arthritis.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

You may have TMJ disorder if you experience:

  • Pain or tenderness in the TMJ area (in front of the ears), especially when chewing, talking, or yawning 
  • Neck or shoulder pain 
  • Frequent earaches or headaches 
  • Jaw joints “sticking” when opening or closing your mouth 
  • A popping or clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth or chewing 
  • A feeling as though your upper and lower teeth are not aligning correctly 
  • A general tired feeling in the face and jaw

These persistent symptoms can negatively affect your quality of life if left untreated. You may find it uncomfortable to eat some of your favorite foods, and speaking may also cause pain. This could, over time, affect your work and even your personal relationships.

Treating TMJ with an Oral Appliance

Dr. Hester offers a simple and non-invasive oral appliance therapy. These appliances, which may be worn strictly at night or throughout the day, fit over the teeth, similar to a sports mouth guard.

Non-invasive oral appliances to treat TMJ disorder fit over your teeth like a mouth guard.

We will take exact impressions of your teeth so your appliance is as comfortable as possible. The durable materials ensure your appliance can absorb and withstand the forces exerted on your jaw when you grind or clench your teeth, easing the stress on the TMJs.

Most patients experience improvements in their symptoms after just a few days of use.

How Treatment Improves Quality of Life

Most patients see improvements in their symptoms after just a few days of use. Worn regularly, an oral appliance can significantly improve your comfort level. When you are pain-free, your overall quality of life can improve as well. You can go back to comfortably eating the foods you love and talking to your coworkers and loved ones. If you were suffering from chronic headaches, earaches, or other painful symptoms, those can subside as well.

Relieve Your Painful TMJ Symptoms

If you are suffering from jaw, face, neck, or shoulder pain, you may have TMJ disorder. Contact our office onlineor call (229) 247-3400 to schedule an appointment and find relief.