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TMJ & TMD Treatment - Albuquerque, NM

Lasting Relief From Jaw & Head Pain

Man and woman laughing together after T M J therapy

Most people have experienced headaches/migraines, ear pain, or jaw pain at some point in their lives, but what may be surprising is that all of these issues can have the same cause—a strained or injured temporomandibular joint (TMJ). If any of these problems sound familiar, and you haven’t been able to find relief despite visiting multiple doctors, then TMJ and TMD treatment in Albuquerque, NM may be the long-term solution you have been looking for.

Why Choose Craniofacial Sleep Medicine & TMJ for TMJ & TMD Treatment?

  • Science-Backed Approach That Treats the Source of TMD
  • State-of-the-Art Diagnostic Technology
  • Medical/Dental Insurance Accepted & Maximized

What is TMJ/TMD?

Animated jaw and skull bone used to diagnose T M J dysfunction

Your TMJ is the set of small hinges located right in front of your ears, and they allow your lower jaw to move freely in all directions, giving you the ability to eat, speak, laugh, and yawn. The TMJ is one of the most complicated joints in the body. But, due to a misaligned bite, teeth grinding, and other factors, it can often develop tension and chronic pain, known as a TMJ disorder, or TMD.

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Signs & Symptoms

Woman holding jaw in pain before T M J therapy

A TMD can be the cause of many symptoms that seemingly have nothing to do with the jaw. Because of the orientation of the oral and cranial muscles, tension can easily radiate from the jaw into the head or neck. In addition to pain, a jaw that excessively clicks or pops when moving, or becomes stuck opening or closing, may also indicate a TMD. Of course, the most telling symptom is pain, which can fall into multiple categories:

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Man with migraine holding temples

Headaches & Migraines

One of the most underdiagnosed causes of frequent headaches and migraines is TMD. The jaw muscles become tense, strained, or overworked, and it’s very easy for this to affect the nearby muscles in the head. This connection is why so many people seeking out treatment for head pain never seem to be able to find lasting relief—because the true source is not being addressed.

Man with tinnitus holding his ears

Ear Pain & Tinnitus

The TMJ is located extremely close to the ears, so a dysfunctional joint can easily lead to ear pain. A TMD can also cause someone to develop a constant tone or ringing in their ears, known as tinnitus, which can be extremely annoying and make it very difficult to sleep.

Man with jaw pain holding cheek

Face & Jaw Pain

Jaw stiffness and pain are the most common symptoms associated with TMD. A person may find it hard to chew comfortably and may even experience lockjaw while opening or closing their mouth. The pain may manifest as a constant, dull ache, or someone may experience a sudden flash of sharp pain while moving their mouth.

Woman in pain due to bruxism

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Bruxism can be the result of daily stress and/or a misaligned bite where the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly. It primarily occurs while someone is asleep. As a result, the enamel is worn down, the jaw muscles are overworked, and a person may wake up with a headache or sore jaw without knowing why.

Diagnosing TMD

X-ray of jaw and skull bone used to diagnose T M J dysfunction

Many factors can lead to the development of TMD—stress, teeth grinding, a crooked bite, injury, arthritis, a slipped disc, and more. We’ll closely examine your joint using the latest technology so we can see exactly how it moves and determine the proper alignment for your teeth and jaw. With this information, we can put together a personalized treatment plan that is designed to stop the pain in the short term and prevent it from coming back in the long-term.

Treating TMD

Hand holding an occlusal splint used to treat T M J dysfunction

Thankfully, there are several non-invasive ways to successfully treat TMD. Some patients only need to wear a specially-made mouthguard to bed to protect their teeth from grinding. Using a combination of dental treatments, we can properly align the bite to prevent the jaw and head muscles from straining themselves and becoming sore. Because our approach targets the source of TMD, a patient will experience fewer and fewer problems over time, to the point that their symptoms may completely go away.

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