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TMJ Dysfunction Therapy in Harlingen, TX

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the small, triangular tissues that connect the jaw to the skull bone. When these connective joints are strained or damaged, the result is TMJ dysfunction or TMD. This oral health condition can result in a wide variety of side effects. The most severe warning sign of TMD is impeded jaw mobility, but there are a number of other concerns associated with this oral health condition. Contact the Harlingen, TX dental office of Larry R. Franks, DDS to find out more or schedule an appointment.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The first step in the treatment process for TMD is diagnosis. We encourage our patients to let us know right away if they experience any of the common warning signs of TMD including:

  • Jaw pain when opening and closing the mouth
  • Radiating pain in the jaw, head, neck, shoulders, and back or earaches
  • Limited ability or complete inability to open and close the mouth

If we determine that you’re suffering from TMD, we’ll work with you to relieve jaw pain and restore jaw mobility. We offer a variety of options to meet your unique needs.

Equilibration & Occlusal Adjustments

In many cases, we’re able to help patients relieve jaw pain and restore the full range of pain free jaw motion with some simple daily exercises to reduce unnecessary TMJ strain. In other cases, more advanced orthodontic alignments may be necessary that require orthodontic treatments like braces or retainers. We’ll begin with the least invasive treatments. Then, we progress into more complex solutions as necessary. Our goal is for patients to be able to speak, chew, yawn, and smile without pain.

Occlusal Splints

Occlusal splints are custom crafted mouthguards worn at night to position the jaw in its most comfortable resting place. Occlusal splints relive excess strain on the jaws at night, and patients notice significant relief from discomfort and jaw mobility issues. Over a few weeks of nightly wear, occlusal splints can lead to significantly reduced jaw joint discomfort and improved jaw mobility. Occlusal splints are also used to protect teeth from potential damage caused by unconscious teeth grinding and clenching.