Who Treats TMJ Disorder?

What kind of doctor treats TMJ Disorder?

Your TMJ is an important joint that allows your jaw to move smoothly and without pain. It’s perfectly designed, so you can enjoy talking, chewing, and swallowing without worrying about discomfort or pain. But when something goes wrong, it can be painful and cause discomfort in your jaw or face.

So how exactly do you find relief? What doctor is equipped to treat your TMJ disorder? Most often, patients consult with their primary care doctor first to confirm if you have TMJ symptoms. If it is confirmed you have TMJ disorder, you will only be referred to a dentist who can treat TMJ disorder (also called TMJD). However, to save time and get treatment right away, you can find a dentist who specializes in TMJ treatment, like Dr. Feng, who can identify the cause of your facial pain and alleviate pain. At Sloan Creek Dental, your dentist can provide TMJD treatment where we provide care in the Allen, Fairview, and McKinney areas.

Who Treats TMJ - Sloan Creek Dental

Are their medical specialist who treat TMJ disorders?

There is no specific medical specialty for the treatment of TMJ disorders. If you are not sure whom to consult, you can start with a primary diagnosis with a health care provider such as a physician or dentist. Due to the complex nature of the temporomandibular joint disorder, many physicians and dentists are not trained or educated enough to treat it and may refer you to one who has experience. It is recommended that you seek a dentist who has experience in the field of TMJ treatment. They would further examine your jaw, conduct several tests, and see how they can treat your TMJ pain.

How to proceed with TMJ treatment?

If you have persistent tenderness or experience jaw pain, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention as temporomandibular joint pain will not go away on its own. If you cannot open or close your jaw completely, it is best to consult a doctor right away.

How to choose a TMJ specialist?

While looking for a TMJ specialist for treating your condition, you need to look for TMJ experts who adopt a holistic approach to ensure longer-lasting results. Look for doctors who have significant training and experience in treating the condition. Searching for “TMJ treatment near me” or “TMJ dentist me” will filter out dentists who do not treat this condition and save you time.

Facts about Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) serves as a sliding hinge that fixes the jawbone to the skull. Any problem with your jaw joint and the muscles in your face that control the hinge is known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The condition results in jaw pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control the movement of your jaw. The condition’s exact cause is often difficult to diagnose for those who do not specialize in treating TMJ symptoms. Whenever there is damage or injury to this complex joint, it results in temporomandibular joint disorder also known as TMJ syndrome. 

Common Symptoms of TMJ disorder

If you have persistent TMJ pain, then you need to seek medical attention right away. A TMJ specialist will discuss the possible causes of the condition with you and prescribe the right treatment for your condition. Here are some common symptoms of TMJ disorder.

  • Sore jaw muscles or muscle spasm
  •  Jaw clicking sounds
  •  Chronic headaches
  •  Ear pain and pain in the temple region
  •  Jaw locking making it difficult to open or close your mouth
  •  Joint pain
  •  Aching facial pain
  •  Difficulty chewing food
  •  Shoulder pain

Treatment options for TMJ Pain

Several symptoms of the condition respond well to home remedies and stress relaxation techniques. However when home remedies are not effective, then it may become necessary to opt for medical treatment. There are a variety of ways to relieve it, here are some of the best options for pain relief.

  • Applying ice packs to the area of the joint to reduce inflammation
  • Avoiding chewing gum and eating soft foods
  • Stress management and relaxation techniques 
  • A physical therapist will be able to recommend some physical therapy exercises such as gentle self-stretching or massages of the neck and jaw muscles to ease the pain
  • Clary sage, chamomile, and lavender are known for their mild sedative qualities. These essential oils can help provide temporary relief from TMJ pain and discomfort.
  •  Using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or muscle relaxants
  • Eating soft foods and avoiding foods that require wide bites 
  • Avoiding unnecessary and extreme jaw movements
  • Placing cold packs and applying moist heat on your jaw for about 10 minutes

When to see a Dentist for TMJ Pain

If your jaw has been hurt and you are experiencing severe pain in the region along with neck pain, ear pain, facial pain, or headache, experiencing pain while opening or closing, or chewing, it could be due to TMJ disorder. You can try home remedies to alleviate chronic pain. However, if you have been experiencing the pain for a long time, you need to consult a doctor.

Ignoring these symptoms will only worsen the situation. Your TMJ disorder will not get better unless you address it correctly. When visiting your primary care physician or a dentist who has experience with TMJ treatment, they will be able to properly diagnose and treat the area to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ Disorder.

During your consultation, your dentist will discuss all your symptoms and carry out a thorough examination of your jaw. They will listen to the symptoms you are experiencing and observe the range of motion in your jaw. They will press on the areas around your jaw to identify the sites of discomfort or pain. If your dentist or doctor suspects there is a problem, they may recommend further tests to prescribe the right course of treatment.

Your TMD Treatment Options

The majority of TMJ disorder cases can be successfully treated with non-invasive treatments. Dr. Feng offers the following oral appliances for TMJ treatment:

Custom mouth guard: A mouth guard will prevent bruxism, which is a condition that causes teeth grinding and clenching. This can lead to many issues, including headaches, jaw pain, facial muscle damage, and more worsen your jaw joint. Using a night guard can help prevent further damage from occurring and offer some relief from symptoms you may already be experiencing.

Oral splint: An oral splint works by allowing your tense muscles the ability to relax. The splint brings your muscles back to their natural resting position, relieving TMD pain. An oral splint is a custom-made oral appliance designed to fit your mouth. It is made of an acrylic resin appliance that can cover all or a few teeth within a row. Depending on the treatment required, we may recommend an occlusal splint or permissive splint. An occlusal splint helps align the teeth and keep them from shifting out of position. A permissive (or night) splint is used to open the bite and minimize grinding while sleeping.


How long does TMJ pain last?

People who suffer from TMJ may experience jaw pain from a couple of days to a few weeks. It really depends on the severity of the damage and the individual.

Can an ENT doctor treat TMJ?

Otorhinolaryngologists are specialists in the diagnosis of disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. Although they may treat TMJ syndrome only in the most minor cases, a referral to a qualified medical professional such as a dentist or oral surgeon is often necessary.

Will surgery be needed?

We do not recommend surgery for every patient. Non-invasive treatments such as oral appliance therapy are often effective in treating mild TMJ disorders. However, when nonsurgical treatments fail to show improvement in your jaw function, movement, or pain, surgery may be recommended and referred to a maxillofacial surgeon.

We’re Here to Alleviate Your TMJ Disorder

At Sloan Creek Dental, we encourage our patients to try less invasive treatments for TMJD first. If your TMD symptoms persist after trying home remedies to treat TMD,  Dr. Feng and the team at Sloan Creek Dental are your best resources to relieve TMJ pain. We combine modern techniques, comprehensive examination, precise diagnosis, and long-lasting results to deliver exactly what you need.

To learn more about your options for effective treatment of TMJD, contact us at our Fairview, TX office to schedule a in-person consultation with us today – 972-468-1440

Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas.

Relaxed Happy Pain Free Smile - Sloan Creek Dental