TMJ/TMD Treatment

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) refers to a condition where the muscles in the jaw, specifically the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), undergo excessive stress leading to symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, and difficulties with chewing and speaking. This situation can cause significant discomfort, leading individuals to contemplate the appropriate course of action to alleviate their discomfort. Fortunately, Dr. Clawson offers TMD treatment services in Lakewood and Federal Way, WA.

What Is TMD?

The TMJ serves as a connecting point between the jaw and the skull, enabling smooth sliding movements during jaw motion. Excessive strain on this joint can result in significant discomfort. The discomfort resulting from TMD may stem from various factors, such as bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, stress, or an injury to the jaw, neck, or face.

It is also speculated that TMD may be influenced by genetic factors, life experiences, psychological stressors, and an individual’s pain-coping mechanisms. Additionally, it affects women more frequently than it does males.

What Are the Symptoms of TMD/TMJ?

There are several indicators that you can look for to determine if you have TMD:

    • When you chew, your jaw and jaw joints are hurting
    • There’s a great deal of discomfort in your face and neck
    • Your jaw is rigid
    • When you open your mouth, your jaw creates a popping or clicking noise
    • You’re experiencing chronic headaches
    • The way the top and lower jaws connect feels different

Although these signs may indicate other conditions, the presence of one or more of them could potentially indicate TMD. For a formal diagnosis and high-quality treatment, contact us today to request a free consultation.

TMD Treatment

Our first approach to addressing TMD symptoms involves checking the alignment of the upper and lower jaws. By utilizing a bite simulator, we can assess the optimal alignment of your jaw and provide you with various orthodontic treatment options to address any issues.

In instances where bruxism is causing symptoms, it may be recommended that you utilize a bite guard. This measure can aid in the prevention of teeth grinding, a habit that can exacerbate symptoms and intensify the discomfort in the jaw and head.

To ease stress and discomfort, we may also suggest medications such as anti-inflammatories, tricyclic antidepressants, and muscle relaxants. By consulting with Dr. Clawson, you can select the best course of action for you. We provide free consultations for TMD treatment in Lakewood and Federal Way, WA.

Two-Phase Treatment

Comfort Dental Braces offers early orthodontic treatment that provides numerous benefits for our young patients. Improving the appearance and function of the teeth, jaw, and facial muscles can contribute to the development of a healthier smile. By starting treatment before the permanent teeth come in, we can correct any misalignment or irregularities while the patient is still developing.

Our two-phase treatment in Lakewood and Federal Way, WA, prevents overcrowding and bite issues, which can lead to more severe problems if left untreated. In addition, early orthodontic treatment often results in reduced treatment time overall and less invasive treatments.

Phase One

During the initial phase of our orthodontic treatment, our primary focus is on the development of the jaw to ensure optimal alignment and optimal spacing for permanent teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. Our team is well-versed in assessing the dental health of children as young as seven, as well as providing the necessary treatments.

Resting Period

Phases one and two of our orthodontic treatment are separated by a resting phase. The break is essential to ensure the accurate alignment of teeth prior to proceeding to phase two. During this phase, we allow the permanent teeth to establish themselves in their new positions and promote further development of the jaw. Routine check-ups will be performed by Dr. Clawson to ensure that the teeth and jaw are properly aligned.

Phase Two

During the second phase, we will proceed with the refinement and resolution of any remaining orthodontic issues. Depending on the severity of the condition, the treatment can be achieved through the use of either braces or Invisalign.

The length of treatment during this phase is subject to individual variation but may span from 12 to 24 months. Upon completion of the orthodontic treatment, we will provide a retainer to ensure the maintenance of your child’s perfectly aligned teeth for a lifetime.

Your child’s oral health will be in the best possible condition thanks to our two-phase treatment at Comfort Dental Braces in Lakewood and Federal Way, WA.

Surgical Orthodontics

Surgical orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on servicing jaw misalignment. This therapeutic approach involves the integration of orthodontic braces and surgical treatments to enhance tooth and jaw alignment, facial aesthetics, oral health, and overall functionality.

A significant benefit of surgical orthodontics is that it has the potential to achieve greater outcomes compared to orthodontic treatment with braces alone. Surgical orthodontic treatment is available in Lakewood and Federal Way, WA, to address various dental issues such as underdeveloped jaws, overcrowding, projecting teeth, and asymmetrical facial features.

Surgical orthodontic procedures may encompass various techniques, such as jaw reshaping, repositioning of the lower or upper jaw, or facial remodeling, which may involve modifications to the chin or nose.

Indicators That Surgical Orthodontics May Be Required

Surgical orthodontics may be deemed necessary for a variety of reasons. Here are a few more signs that you could benefit from surgical orthodontics:

    • A noticeable overbite or underbite
    • Jaw discomfort as a result of facial imbalance.
    • Difficulties chewing as a result of jaw misalignment.
    • Inability to close one’s mouth completely or comfortably.

In cases where traditional braces are insufficient to address severe overcrowding, surgical orthodontics to expand the jaw may be a viable option for both adults and children. In addition, if a patient is experiencing respiratory or speech difficulties due to jaw irregularities, surgical treatment may be necessary to address the issue.