what is TMJ Therapy?
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw connects to your skull to allow you to open and close your mouth easily. Sometimes the TMJ is injured or damaged, leading to a painful condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you are having pain or hearing noises whenever you open your jaw, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin Boulard, our general dentist. He will examine you to see if you have TMD. At Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH, Dr. Boulard uses innovative tools to diagnose your TMD. Your TMJ treatment will be dependent on the cause of your TMD and your specific condition, but a few choices include oral appliances (mouth or night guards), bite modifications, dental restorations, and more.
"After delaying dental care for over a year, I found Dr. Boulard and have had two visits with his practice. I could not be more pleased! The staff is friendly and competent and showed deep concern for my needs and well being. After experiencing the intolerance and contempt the medical community at large has for those who cannot safely wear a face mask, I am overjoyed at the treatment and respect I received here. After my dental surgery, I got a follow-up call from Dr. Boulard himself, which I thought was so nice and caring. These folks stand head and shoulders above the rest and I am so grateful to have found them!"- L.P. / Office Visit / Jun 10, 2021
"I’ve been a patient with Dr. Boulard for 14 years. I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my teeth! Always makes me feel comfortable and never a painful experience. I love the fact that they have high tech scanners so I never gag, no more gunky impressions. and they have up to date technology, with the option of also getting Invisalign. The rest of the staff is lovely and the office manager, Olga, is amazing! They are so efficient and well mannered. I highly recommend!"- D.S. / Google / May 24, 2021
"The entire staff at Something to Smile About is absolutely amazing. I have severe dental anxiety due to some terrible experiences with other dentists, and they really listened to all of my concerns and did everything they could to make me more comfortable. I have had a couple of rounds of dental work there now, and I don't feel a thing from beginning to end. Dr. Boulard is the best at what he does!"- K.W. / Google / May 15, 2021
"I just started going to Dr. Kevin Boulard after my family dentist, whom I've been with my ENTIRE life, retired."- K.W. / Facebook / Feb 13, 2021
"The staff is so amazing and caring. Takes time to listen to the concerns of the patient. Keeps them comfortable as can be in a dentist office."- T.D. / Facebook / Jul 08, 2020
Who needs TMJ Therapy?
TMJ could be caused by an injury to the jaw, years of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw (bruxism), or a misaligned bite (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that may lead to advancing this condition may include the development of a tumor in the TMJ or arthritis. If you're experiencing symptoms, Dr. Boulard can diagnose and treat you. The most common signs of TMD are tenderness or pain in the jaw, spasms in your face muscles, feeling as though your jaw is stiff or stuck, and headaches that begin around your ears. Another sign is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking whenever you use your jaw.
How Dr. Boulard treats TMJ
To diagnose a TMJ, Dr. Boulard will carefully listen and review your concerns before performing a physical examination. Throughout the exam, he will assess the movement of your jaw and search for indications of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment of your teeth. He will also palpate the jaw and surrounding area for any swelling and tenderness. Dr. Boulard may request digital images of your lower face or an analysis of your bite to look for underlying factors that could determine your therapy approach. Depending on the examination, he will go over your treatment choices that might include a mouth guard, orthodontics, or restorations (bridges, crowns, and dentures).
taking care of yourself with TMJ
Along with procedures to address the root cause of your TMD, Dr. Boulard may suggest other means to ease pain and other symptoms on your own. This includes eating softer foods, avoiding biting your nails or chewing gum, heat packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. Dr. Boulard may also give you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medicine to relax your facial muscles and to ease pain, anxiety, or inflammation.
Continue going to follow-up appointments so Dr. Boulard can check the results of your TMJ therapy. If your therapy is not helping, he will try another strategy. You should still schedule annual dental exams at Something To Smile About to keep your mouth healthy and your symptoms in check.
TMJ Therapy FAQ
What are the most common symptoms of TMJ?
- Pain (teeth, jaw, neck, face, throat, head)
- Constant earache without an infection
- Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
- "Stuffy" or "muffled" feeling in ears
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Limited ability to move or open your jaw
Is surgery the only option to treat TMJ?
No, it isn't. Dr. Boulard offers a wide variety of TMJ treatment options, allowing him to personalize your treatment plan to address your unique TMJ problems. Some of the treatment options include mouth guards, orthodontics, dental restorations, and more.
How common is TMJ?
In the U.S., around 12% of people have some type of TMJ issue, with more women experiencing TMJ than men.
Does TMJ go away on its own?
Unfortunately, many TMJ conditions are progressive, meaning they get worse over time. That's why Dr. Boulard recommends early diagnosis and treatment for TMJ to improve your health and overall wellbeing.
Treat Your TMJ with Dr. Boulard
TMJ pain can make it hard to eat, speak, and enjoy your everyday life. Since there are lots of possible causes, signs, and solutions for this condition, schedule a consultation with Dr. Boulard at his office in Merrimack, NH. He will perform a detailed examination prior to diagnosing the problem and discussing treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at Something To Smile About to get more information and schedule an appointment.