TMJ

TMJ informationTMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your 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 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. Urbanek and Dr. Urbina can help you have a healthier, 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 Jaw Pain You Think May be TMJ?
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Call us: 615-771-1983

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.

TMJ Treatment

There are various treatment options for TMJ that Drs. Urbanek and Urbina can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Drs. Urbanek or Urbina will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care combined with professional care.

The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasms 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 (or nightguard) 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. It also 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. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal. An orthotic stabilization appliance is worn 24 hours/day, or just at night, to move your jaw into proper position. Appliances also help protect 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. Drs. Urbanek and Urbina do not consider TMJ surgery unless the jaw can’t open, is dislocated and non-reducible, has severe degeneration, or the patient has undergone appliance treatment unsuccessfully.

Ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Urbanek or Dr. Urbina?

Call our office at Brentwood Office Phone Number 615-771-1983 or request an appointment online.

Anthony P. Urbanek, DDS, MS, MD

5 out of 5 stars based on 538 TMJ reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

When I first came to see Dr. Urbina, I was having constant headaches, jaw pain, and neck pain. I started using the device almost a year ago now and I feel like I’ve gotten my life back! My symptoms are about 80% gone and I’m SO thankful for this device and Dr. Urbina’s help!

- Brooke B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

This tooth guard has been game changer for me! I went from having ear pain 3-6 times a month to rarely now. I never go without wearing it at night as living pain free has been amazing. The doctor and his staff have been amazing! Highly recommend!

- Jill M

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

This has truly been a life changing event regarding the quality of my life. Previous to attaining the splint I had exhausted a plethora of time and resources and finding only temporary to no results from my symptoms of migraines, numbness, jaw locking, ear pain, etc. After the first three weeks of use I saw a reduction of the aforementioned symptoms by approximately 80%. I highly recommend this device to anyone suffering from TMJ!

- Rachel H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I have suffered from migraines, TMJ, neck and shoulder pain since my mid-forties: I’m 60 now. A couple months ago I woke with terrible pain in my jaw, I thought maybe a tooth had gone bad. My dentist referred me to Dr. Urbanek’s office. I was seen and heard and measured for a Urbanek TMJ splint, and after five weeks, my symptoms have all improved by at least 80%. I wish I had known about this doctor and the device many years ago. The doctors and office staff are all professional and kind. They are all heroes in my book.

- Rebecca K

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The TMJ device that I got has helped with my jaw health SOOO MUCH. I rarely have headaches now and it relieves the tension in my jaw. The staff and doctors are amazing and super helpful. The actual device is like a retainer, it sits at the roof of your mouth without people being able to see it. It gives you a slight lisp, but no need to fear, it eventually goes away and gets easier to talk with it in. Overall, I’m very pleased with my experience here and my TMJ device was 100% worth it!

- Brittany S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had been missing work & being late for a long period of time because of headaches earaches sinus pressure I went to my Dr over this period of time. They finally sent me to a ENT Dr. They couldn’t find anything wrong with my sinuses or ears. They referred me to Dr Urbanek. I have been wearing the device for TMJ. I have not missed or been late for work because of these symptoms in over 5 weeks. I feel I am over the symptoms at least 80%

- Anonymous

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I have been struggling with jaw pain for over fourty years and so much pain. I was given an option for surgery and I am so glad I didn’t go through with it. I finally found hope and total relief. I have went to several doctors and none of them had any idea how to treat for TMJ. I am greatfull that I have a doctor who completely understands what I was going through and has resolved all my issues. I am totally free from the jaw and ear pain.

- Connie M

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I came to Dr. Urbanek after a referral from my dentist to treat my symptoms which had come back. In the past I had gone to an ear, nose and throat doctor for the pain on the right side of my head around my ear. At the time I thought I was losing my hearing but that came out negative and I walked away with no idea what was wrong. There wasn’t just pain; I had spouts of vertigo as well. Still the issues and pain compounded: pain in the jaw, my head, my neck, dizziness... After being finally diagnosed with TMJ, I was able to get treatment. Knowing what was the problem helped me know what to do. Over time things changed and the same symptoms came again, with a referral from my dentist I was about to connect with Dr. Urbanek and his staff to find a way to ease the pain. I’m not finished but I feel I’m on the right path. Right now I’m about 95% pain free which is tremendous from where I was.

- Christine R

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I came in with 10 years of headaches behind me. I was struggling with nausea, neck pain, jaw pain, and dizziness. Now it’s 99% gone. I’m incredibly grateful after all the doctors that couldn’t help me, I finally got one who knew what to do.

- Selah B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dealt with issues related to TMJ problems for 40 years until I found Dr. Urbanek. Neck, jaw joint, and head pain, inability to fully open my mouth, neck and back pain. Frustration. I was treated previously for this problem with no improvement by a practitioner in Ohio. The device Dr. Urbanek gave to me has decreased my symptoms by 80%. Thank you to my dentist at Lenox Village who knew about Dr. Urbanek and his device and recommended I see him. I’m so pleased with my results and happy that I found Dr. Urbanek.

- Dorothy B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. Urbanek is very knowledgeable. The Urbanek Device has eliminated the majority of my daily symptoms in just a few months! It is no longer painful to eat breakfast in the morning, I do not wake up with headaches or facial swelling. The TMJ splint was worth the investment.

- Rebecca B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I began experiencing TMJ symptoms roughly 20 years ago. Until meeting with Dr Urbanek I was given little to no treatment options or options that were financially impossible or suggestive of surgery to which I had no interest in pursuing. I had basically given up any hope that there was anything that could done about the numerous symptoms, some of which I was unaware were even related to TMJ. My jaw no longer clicks to open, feels tight, fatigues upon exertion, or locks. My neck pain, tinnitus, headaches, and general dull ache felt around my jaw joint have all significantly improved. Although the device provided by Dr Urbanek was somewhat out of my financial capabilities, the alternate payment options provided allowed me to get the device and I would do it 10x over if I had had any idea that my symptoms and quality of life would improve to this degree. I am extremely thankful to have found Dr Urbanek and given his device a chance.

- Paige T

4 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I went to my general practitioner first with my issue with headaches. Then I went to minor emergency. Next I went to a cardiologist. Let’s not forget the nourologist. Finally. I went to my Dentist. They said I have tmj and they knew the guru. 2 months later I’m cured. Thanks Dr Urbanek

- Tom O

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I have suffered with searing burning shoulder pain in my right shoulder and neck for years. In addition I had right sided migraine and popping and fullness in both ears and have developed ringing in my left ear. I saw my primary care doctor who sent me to and ENT and 2as told there was nothing I could do. I also tried Botox injection in my jaw muscle to try to prevent teeth grinding. This did not work. I have had massages regularly, with transient relief at times, and tried dry needling gas well. After using Dr Urbanek’s device for 2 weeks I was much better, I have not had recurrent migraines and the burning chronic pain in my shoulder and neck are gone. I am very grateful. Before I thought there was no hope, and I am happy to know, I was wrong. Dr Urbanek’s device was the solution.

- Melissa B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Before I came to Dr. Urbanek, I was always told that I had a bad inner ear infection. I never know that I had TMJ. I have had bad headaches and neck pain. I had to wear my device for about 3 months all day long. I didn’t think it was going to work. I had a hard time with it but I made it work. When I tell you I could tell a difference around the 3 month, I so glad that I came and got my device. Now I’m wearing it only at night time but I find myself might having to put it in something doing the day. I want to Thank Dr. Urbanek for listening and helping me with my problem.

- Janice L

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had been suffering with headaches, nausea, jaw pains, and what we thought were ear infections for a long period of time. After severe ear pains my doctor decided that I should see the ear nose throat specialist. All test came back great and they felt it could be TMJ so they sent me to see Dr. Urbanek. I didn’t know what to expect but Dr. Urbanek assured me that he would do everything he could to provide me the relief that I deserved. He listened to all my complaints and was so very caring and assuring that he could help me. I felt his genuine concern for my well being. Since receiving my device I have experienced a complete change in my life. I no longer wake up in pain and I’m able to enjoy life and my family without constant pain. I’m truly grateful that God placed Dr. Urbanek and this treatment into my life. I feel like I have life again.

- LeQuita H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was having problems with excruciating pain in my right jaw with headaches, and ear aches. My dentist referred me to Dr Urbanek and he diagnosed TMJ. I have been wearing my retainer for less than 3 weeks and I have had no pain since. It is simply amazing.

- Pamela C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was experiencing pain and inflammation in my left temple and jaw. I learned I was bitting down at night when I was sleeping. I traveled 3 hours to get here to have my TMJ addressed because it was pretty bad. I am at my 6 or 7 week marker and I feel much more relaxed and my inflammation has reduced at least 85 to 90 percent. The pain is almost completely gone. Thank you for helping me overcome my TMJ! You guys Rock!!!

- JoAnn K

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was referred to Dr Urbina when my night guard was not resolving my grinding problems and 2 rounds of pain medication and muscle relaxers would not get my temporal mandibular joint pain to subside. I was grinding so hard that I was grinding though my night guard material. After 2 night guards in 3 years and 3 cracked molars from extensive grinding it was time for a new approach. The TMJ splint has helped me to rest easier and carry on with every day life. Whenever I do feel a bit of jaw pain (due to monthly hormonal changes) I simply wear my TMJ splint longer during the day and the symptoms subside.

- Cristina A

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was having horrible headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, vertigo, and shoulder pain. My dentist Dr. Nelson Wilson sent me to Dr. Urbanek and on the first visit I explained all my symptoms and got fitted for a mouth piece to wear 24/7. It’s amazing! I wear it everyday and at night and all my symptoms are gone. The worst was the headaches and jaw pain. So thankful for Dr. Urbanek!

- Donna M

5 out of 5 stars on