COVID-19: Temporary Office Hours

Due to the recent outbreak we are currently working on a modified schedule. Please contact us to schedule your next visit
Office Updates

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff.

TMJ


If your jaw has been sounding like popcorn every time you open and close your mouth, your jaw locks when you yawn or open or close your mouth, and you have been struggling with a headache that radiates up to your ear and down to your shoulder, then there is a good chance that you are suffering from a disorder in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Your TMJ is the small little joint in your jaw, which acts as a hinge that connects your jaw to the rest of your head. When it works fine, most people pay little attention to it. However, the moment it starts to act up, it may be all that you think about. We here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry understand how miserable TMJ dysfunction is and can help restore your quality of life if you have this common disorder.

What is TMJ Dysfunction?



TMJ dysfunction affects the lives of over 10 million Americans, leading to pain and tenderness in the joint. It occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, which can occur for some reasons. Common triggers for TMJ disorder include injury or trauma to the joint (causing it to be knocked out of alignment), erosion of the joint itself, and types of arthritis (including rheumatoid or osteoarthritis) that can affect the cartilage in the joint. Patients who clench or grind their teeth, particularly at night, are also prone to TMJ dysfunction.

While some patients may find that their TMJ disorder goes away on its own, it often needs medical intervention. That is where we step in. During your appointment with us, we will thoroughly assess your mouth and jaw to look for any signs of problems with your TMJ. We will first start with a medical history to determine if you have any conditions that may have led to TMJ disorder. Next, we will examine your mouth and jaw. We will also gently press against your TMJ to determine if you have any tenderness. We may also ask you to open and close your mouth to listen for any of the telltale pops or clicks associated with it.

How to Treat TMJ Disorder



There are many different treatment options available to patients with TMJ dysfunction. Depending on the severity of it, we may recommend lifestyle changes, such as stopping chewing gum. Physical therapy can also be beneficial, which will include exercises that can help strengthen the jaw.

Some patients may benefit from an occlusive device, such as a nighttime mouth guard. This can help prevent pain from bruxism (grinding and clenching your teeth). We may recommend medication alongside these other therapies, as well. Some patients benefit from anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants, and in some cases, certain types of tricyclic antidepressants are helpful.

Patients whose TMJ disorder is resistant to non-surgical options may require surgery to treat their TMJ dysfunction. We will discuss all of your options with you during your consultation for TMJ disorder.

If you suspect that you suffer from a TMJ dysfunction, or you would like to set up an appointment with us here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry, please give us a call today at (803) 310-4707!

Get in Touch!


PHONE
(803) 310-4707

EMAIL
carolinasmilesc@gmail.com

LOCATION
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169-3428


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