TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.
No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Weierbach can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.
Trouble With Your Jaw?
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the cushion of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.
Do You Have a TMJ Disorder?
- Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
- Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
- Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
- Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
- Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
- Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
- Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
- Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
- Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
- Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
- Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
- Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
- Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?
The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.
There are various treatment options that Dr. Weierbach can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Weierbach will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care joined with professional care.
The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Self-care treatments can often be effective as well and include:
- Resting your jaw
- Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
- Eating soft foods
- Applying ice and heat
- Exercising your jaw
- Practicing good posture
Stress management techniques such as biofeedback or physical therapy may also be recommended, as well as a temporary, clear plastic appliance known as a splint. A splint fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relieves pressure on parts of your jaw and aids in disk repositioning. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 8-10 hours/day or just at night to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help to protect from tooth wear.
What About Bite Correction or Surgery?
If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Surgical options such as arthroscopy and open joint repair restructuring are sometimes needed, but are reserved for severe cases. Dr. Weierbach does not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and nonreducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.
I can’t say enough about Dr W. And his staff. I came to them with serious dental issues. He took the time to understand my concerns and worked on not only fixing the problems but making my dental health better. Dr W. gave me a better quality of life that I had thought I would never get to experience. THANK YOU!!!!
- Naomi L
Dr Weierbach and his staff are exceptional people. They are not only experts in their field but are also warm and caring in all they do. The thought of getting needed implants, a bridge, and crowns to fix my upper failing bridge was daunting and unsettling to me. Dr. Weierbach and his staff were patient and so reassuring during the the entire process. I am completely satisfied and happy with my new teeth. The end result - beautiful !
- Beverly B
Dr Weierbach and his staff did a fantastic job fixing my "interesting" smile. He and his staff are prompt, courteous, exceptional artists and take enormous amounts of care for every step. I am absolutely thrilled with my results of my new veneers. Great job and thank you!
- Deb R
I have been grinding my teeth my whole life! Even with faithfully wearing a night guard I did extensive damage to my teeth. Apparently, I am an unconscious daily tooth grinder. This left me with few options for repairing my teeth. I was recommended to Dr. Weierbach who developed an comprehensive plan to restore my smile. Not only did Dr. Weierbach create a new smile but he transformed my smile into a more youthful one! No he's not a magician, just a very research-based talented dentist. I trusted his judgment and recommendations every step of the year long process. The best compliments still come from my hustband of almost 40 years who cherishes my new smile! The care I received from the office staff over the year was outstanding. If you have any dental issues that require expert advise , I highly recommend you contact Dr. Weierbach and his office staff. You will be on your way to a more confident, functional smile!
- Karen T
I was missing both of my lateral incisor teeth, and I had surgery done for dental implants. When it came time to start the treatment, I had a consultant with Dr. Weierbach and his team. He assured me that I was in good hands-- he was right! Besides getting the crowns, I also had ZOOM whitening done, which I would highly recommend for a quick and reliable way to whiten your teeth. During my treatment, the appliance that held my temporary teeth broke. He and his staff went the extra mile and took time out of their busy day to fix it; they reassured me that if anything like that were to happen, they should be the first ones we call. Throughout my many appointments, the staff always made sure I was comfortable and besides that, they were incredibly personable! Dr. Weierbach and his team of amazing assistants worked incredibly hard to make sure my smile was perfect while making it as painless as possible. The shade of my crowns, the shape, and the length all combine to make a very natural looking smile. I could not think of another person I would want to do my treatment with. If you or anyone you know are looking to get dental work done, Dr. Weierbach is the man to do it! He will go out of his way to make sure every detail is impeccable. Thank you guys!
- Trinity M
OUTSTANDING! Dr. Weierbach is a highly qualified prosthodontist who is warm, engaging, funny, and always seeking perfection. Every office visit I smiled and laughed because of the assistants (Melissa) and Dr. Weierbach. The quality of the dental work was exceptional! I walked out of the office today with the end result, feeling beautiful. THANK YOU to all the staff! 🤟
- Paula K
I have been a patient of Dr. Weierbach for 10+ years now and together we have been on a dental journey. I have been and am continually impressed with the doctor’s demeanor, perfectionism & professionalism and his all-around commitment to ensuring a positive patient experience. I had some pretty extensive work done (zygomatic/lower jaw implants and full uppers and lowers) and I am now able to eat anything I want and can laugh and smile the day away. Most important to me (in addition to the dental work), Dr. Weierbach treats you like a friend, not a patient. That friendly and family atmosphere extends to all of his staff. Walking into the office and you are greeted with a friendly hello from Sue, Sherry and Jen. Amanda and Chelsee, Dental Assistants, are great at keeping you at ease while waiting for and undergoing procedures. Nina, my hygienist, keeps my smile pretty and ensures everything is in working order. Dr. Weierbach and his staff are top shelf and you would not go wrong seeking their services.
- Ray Z
Dr. Weierbach was able to correct the poorly done dental work done by another dentist. The completion of the work is nothing less than excellent and beyond my expectations. I never would've believed that the issues that I had could have beeen corrected. The doctor was able to restore the way I looked and gave me a smile that I thought I had lost. I strongly recommend Dr. Weierbach to anyone who has lost faith in their hope to restore or repair a dental problem.
- Annamarie R
Dentistry taken to a new level! Dr Weierbach recently completed two crowns on my top front teeth. It doesn't get more visible than that! He recommended I replace a very old crown on one front tooth with two crowns of both front teeth to get a perfect match. Even better he suggested they whiten my teeth first so the end result will match the rest of my teeth more closely for a longer period of time. The end result was literally perfection! The size of the teeth was perfect, and the color match was exact. His staff is second to none and their attributes mirror the doctor's own - friendly, competent, attentive and caring.
- Jim M
My daughter 18, had a single veneer done to her front tooth before she heads off to college this fall. Dr. Weierbach and his staff went above and beyond in the way of service. Dr. Weierbach is committed to the fine details and the overall experience/product. My daughter's veneer is absolute perfection due to his team's experience & professionalism. You get what you pay for and we are extremely pleased. My daughter's mouth posed issues and subsequently several impromptu visits for repair of her temporary bonding and no matter when it happened- a staff was there to ensure she was taken care of (even on the weekend). In a world of subpar service... this team is the example by which all should be measured. Five Star service.
- Robin R