The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the place where your jaw attaches to your skull, which allows you to open and close your jaw smoothly. Sometimes the joint is damaged or injured, leading to a debilitating condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction (TMD). If you're having pain or hearing sounds whenever you open your jaw, then schedule an appointment with board-certified dentist Dr. Robert Porter to see if you have TMD. At Robert L. Porter Dentistry in Richardson, TX, Dr. Porter can help determine if your symptoms might br related to TMD. Your treatment will depend on the cause of your TMD and your particular condition, but a few choices are oral appliances (night or mouth guards), bite adjustment, and dental restorations.
"I've been seeing Dr. Porter for something close to 20 years at this point, and not once have I had a bad experience. They are all very professional and friendly, and have worked with me to keep all of my teeth."- M.Z. / Google / Dec 14, 2018
"I have been going to Dr Porter’s office for over 15 years & am very impressed by the care I receive there. I have had many issues with my teeth but Dr Porter always fixes the issue with expertise. He care for his patients mouth like he cares for his family members. Nancy Porter, the dental hygienists, is amazing as well. She is thorough in cleaning & makes you feel at home in her chair. I know I am in good hands with Dr Porter & Nancy Porter. They have done amazing work for me & I am grateful. Best dentist & hygienist you will find!"- T.C. / Google / Jan 21, 2019
"Nancy – Thanks for getting me in so quickly to see "The Doc"! Plus, he did a good job!"- CK / Office Visit / Sep 17, 2012
"I drive a long way, from Flower Mound, to see this dentist and his hygienist. I pick a time of day when the traffic's not so bad - it's well worth the trip to have a team you have full confidence in. Dr. Porter explains things well, and tells me what my options are. He always listens to what I think."- O.M. / Google / Sep 07, 2018
"Great dentist, most efficient staff, & very good dental work going on here!"- J.K. / Google / Sep 06, 2018
TMD may be caused by an injury to the jaw, years of teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Other conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis, damage to the joint cartilage, or a tumor in the TMJ. Sometimes the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you're having symptoms, Dr. Porter can diagnose and care for your TMJ. Some of the most typical signs of TMD are tenderness or pain at the temporomandibular joint, involuntary contractions in your face muscles, feeling like your jaw is rigid or stuck, and frequent headaches that begin in front of your ears. Another sign is hearing cracking, popping, or clicking when you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To diagnose TMD, Dr. Porter will listen carefully to your concerns before performing a physical exam. Throughout the examination, he will evaluate how your jaw moves and look for signs of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment of your teeth. He will also palpate the jaw and lower face to check for swelling and tenderness. Dr. Porter might want to have digital images of your joint along with an analysis of your bite to search for underlying factors that may help determine your therapy approach. After the examination, he will discuss your treatment choices that may incorporate a night guard, teeth straightening, or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with treatments to solve the root cause of your TMD, Dr. Porter may suggest different ways to relieve pain and other problems on your own. This may include eating softer foods, not biting your nails or chewing gum, applying heat to your jaw, and relaxation methods. Dr. Porter may also show you exercises to strengthen your jaws or prescribe medication to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, nervousness, or even inflammation).
You should continue to go to follow-up appointments so Dr. Porter can assess the results from your TMJ treatment. If your therapy isn't working, he might consider another strategy. You should continue to schedule periodic dental examinations at Robert L. Porter Dentistry to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance coverage for diagnosing TMJ pain and TMD treatments varies with different insurance companies, so we'll get in touch with your provider to figure out your personal expenses. Whether you do or don't have dental insurance, a team member will discuss the fees when explaining treatment choices. To help make your care affordable, Robert L. Porter Dentistry takes many payment methods and we can discuss available dental financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can make it difficult to eat, talk, and enjoy your life. Since there are lots of potential causes, symptoms, and treatments for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), make an appointment with Dr. Robert Porter at his practice in Richardson, TX. He will perform a detailed exam prior to making a diagnosis and talking about treatment choices. Get in touch with our staff at Robert L. Porter Dentistry to learn more and schedule your appointment.