TMJ

TMJ (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 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.

Ready to schedule a consultation with Dr. Urbanek?

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

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 Dr. Urbanek can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, Dr. Urbanek 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. Dr. Urbanek does 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?

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 142 TMJ reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

After just 6 weeks no pain at all after having TMD for over 8 months.

- Debbra C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

It is nice not to feel popping of my jaws and no tension headaches thanks to this great Doctor.

- Marilyn P

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I’ve experienced TMJ pain for at least 20 years. With every new treatment I tried, the pain would only get worse. Within a few weeks of wearing my device form Dr. Urbanek, my TMJ symptoms decreased by 85% and they haven’t come back. I am so thankful that I finally found something that works and I can live my life without pain.

- Rachel C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Absolute success with most symptoms alleviated after only three weeks of wearing the Urbanek Splint. Great personnel!

- Kathie L

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I recommend trying the device if you have TMJ symptoms especially if you get regular headache and migraine pain as it worked for me and I am happy with the results!

- K C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

After months of pain, Dr. Urbanek was able to pinpoint the problem and get me fitted with a device that has helped tremendously!

- Rusti K

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had constantly put off seekin care about my jaw pain because I thought surgery was my only option. However, Dr. Urbanek’s Splint has not only required me to not have surgery but has also treated 90% of my symptoms. The Splint has done wonders for my headaches, neck pain, and ringing in my ears. I highly recommend Dr. Urbanek and his team for any TMJ issues!

- Cynthia W

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I came to Dr. Urbanek with years of headaches and jaw aches and within just a few months his Splint device changed my ability to function. Everyday headaches are a thing of the past for me now.

- Miranda P

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. Urbanek found that I have TMJ after seeing other professionals for years without a mention of the possible problem. After being fitted with the device I have seen an improvement in my sleep and pain level. As someone who has experienced pain for many years I can truthfully say this device has positively contributed to my overall health.

- Laquita B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had been suffering with ear pain, headaches and jaw locking for several years. I used the appliance as directed and in just a few short months I am almost pain free. Dr. Urbanek went out of his way at every appointment to make sure my appliance was adjust d perfectly. The key is to wear it as he aye and you will be pain free. Thank you Dr. Urbanek and his staff.

- Heather Y

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I first saw Dr. Urbanek when I was about 14years old. I was involved in a car accident , that involved a drunk driver. The TMJ surgery was a success. I was involved in another accident 4 or 5 years later, I was injured on the job. Dr. Urbanek had to perform reconstructive jaw surgery. I am still amazed that a few weeks post op he removed all four of my wisdom teeth. Now 26 years later I started to have headaches again, chest, shoulder, ear pain. My pcp , er doctor ‘s etc. could not figure out what was causing the pain. I decided to check with Dr. Urbanek and he told me it was an easy fix. I was relieved , no surgery just wear a splint. The nausea and vomiting are gone, my headaches are better and I just come in to have my device tightened. When I say Dr. Urbanek is the best in his field, I truly mean it.

- Shalonda G

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

After 10 years of TMJ issues, almost all of my symptoms have gone away within 3 weeks! Highly recommend Dr. Urbanek.

- Traci S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had jaw pain everyday for at least a year, that interfered with eating and daily activities, but after using my TMJ Splint my jaw is feeling a lot better!

- Katherine R

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. Urbanek was extremely helpful and friendly. When I first explained my symptoms to him he knew exactly what was going on. Only two months after wearing the Splint I no longer suffer from jaw pain/locking. I am very pleased with everything he and his staff have done for me.

- Jacob F

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I started to hear my jaw pop in early high school. Thinking nothing of it, I went on with my daily life. My senior year rolled around and it became a problem when it would get stuck, so to speak. I then went to my first year of college and for the first time it locked up on me. I was unable to open my mouth wide. I tried to open it which caused me great pain. I was scared and didn’t know what happened. I woke up the next day with my jaw still in pain. I thought it would be fine after that, but that’s when it got bad. It would lock up more and more. I became scared of going out with friends to eat because if it locked up I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to eat. One day in the summer, it locked up the longest it has and I felt frustrated because I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to eat. I then started to look for help. My mom started searching for the best. I came here because I was at the point of trying anything. The Splint was a bit weird at first, but I am now at the two month mark and about 90% better! As now a sophomore in college, I have gone out and not been worried of people looking at me try to fit food into my mouth or be scared to go out with friend. I definitely owe my confidence to the doctor and staff here!

- Madison N

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had experienced jaw pain for years, but finally came to Dr. Urbanek when I began experiencing sharp ear pain. I saw the testimonials on his site and wasn’t sure if they were too good to be true, but I figured I didn’t have anything to lose (except hopefully the pain)! After speaking to him about my symptoms, I learned that what I had thought of as unrelated pains were actually all part of the same jaw joint pain, and I had been suffering for 20 years. Fortunately, my story has a very happy ending: after two months of wearing the Urbanek Splint, I am almost completely pain-free (like 90%!). I cannot believe the improvement of such a long period of pain in such a short amount of time. My only regret about the experience is that I didn’t know to come to see Dr. Urbanek sooner! Dr. Urbanek is friendly, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable. He was a pleasure to work with and actually listened to my symptoms.

- Susie B

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

This has helped me so much-wished I knew about this sooner! Thanks so much!

- Donna R

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I came to Dr. Urbanek with severe ear and jaw pain, and he was quickly able to tell me that TMJ disorder was the cause. I got my device and within just a few weeks my symptoms had abated. I would absolutely recommend him for all your TMJ needs.

- Kaitlyn J

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My jaw had been locking and clicking open and close for almost more than a year. At first I thought it will go away by itself, however it didn’t. Therefore, I saw Dr. A Urbanek and he helped me figure out that it was due to teeth clenching which I did not even know I did at the time. In very less time, I had a Splint in my mouth and in two month my jaw locking stopped. It is worth it because now I can yawn properly and open my mouth wide and chew properly without clicking of jaw.

- Shreyakumari C

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

It started when I was 15 years old, daily headaches, jaw pain, ear ache, it was painful to eat because my jaw would pop with every chew, I had neck pain, shoulder pain, all of which I contributed to stress and being thrown off a horse when I was younger. One day I went to the doctor with what I thought was a severe ear infection. My jaw was numb and it hurt from my ear to my mouth, one of the worst pains I had felt in a while. It turned out I had TMJ, who knew!! All these years I dealt with all of these symptoms on a daily basis and was miserable. After meeting with Dr. Urbanek and wearing my device as directed, I am now 80% better. But I n Know my triggers that make it worse and make it flare up, that is when I wear my device more during the day. I am now going to bring my daughter in! Thank you Dr. Urbanek!

- Nancy L

4 out of 5 stars on