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Relieve Your Jaw Pain/Headaches with TMJ/TMD Therapy in Longview, TX

At Vaca & Kirby Dental, we take pride in considering your overall health with every treatment. One of the ways we do this is by keeping an eye on your TMJ (temporomandibular joint). These are the small hinges located in front of your ears that allow your jaw to move fluidly whenever you talk or eat. Like any other joint in the body, they can become strained or injured, leading to a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). If you develop one, you don’t need to see a specialist, you can get it treated right here in Longview by Dr. David Vaca and Dr. Chris Kirby. Does your jaw pop or click frequently? Is it consistently stiff and hard to move? Do you get headaches and earaches all the time? If so, it may be TMD, so be sure to contact our office today to get relief.

Older female patient with gorgeous smile

Man in pain holding both sides of his jaw

Diagnosis & Treatment

When you come in for your checkup, we will always monitor the health of your TMJ. We’ll test its range of motion, and also see how your bite comes together (which is called the “occlusion.”) If you have been having problems or if we notice anything, we can prescribe a variety of treatment plans to correct the problem. This may involve doing simple stretches, a procedure called an equilibration/occlusal adjustment, or using an occlusal splint.

Animation of properly positioned jawbone

Equilibration/Occlusal Adjustment

TMD can sometimes be caused by the teeth coming together incorrectly. This can prevent the jaw from closing properly and even put dangerous of levels stress and pressure on the teeth-- both of which can lead to pain. If we determine that this is the problem, we will take an impression of your bite to see where these stressed areas are located. We’ll then gently remove a microscopic amount of your enamel so that the teeth slide together smoothly, allowing your jaw to function naturally and comfortably.

Hand holding a TMJ oral appliance

Occlusal Splint

This device is a small mouthpiece you would wear each night to bed to help alleviate your TMD. It works by slightly repositioning the jaw so that it sits in a more natural position. For those suffering from bruxism, it can also prevent the teeth from grinding together. Over time, the jaw will slowly begin to settle into this new position, and after a while (weeks to months), you might not need to wear the splint any more.

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