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General Dentistry

The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

General Dentistry in Ballantyne, NC

TMJ Disorders

Any disorder with complex Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause a broad range of symptoms. It can range from headache, pain behind the eyes, limited mouth opening, buzzing noise in the ear and clicking jaw joints. The pain or a “clicking” sound occurs when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly.

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Reference – Oral Medicine – London


TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tighten your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may also 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. Irrespective of 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.


Dr. Ishita Seth in Ballantyne will evaluate and, once the diagnosis is confirmed, will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach.

  • Relieve muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, or muscle relaxants.
  • Steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Keep teeth apart (as much as possible) and rest your jaw.
  • Eating soft foods.
  • Applying ice and heat.
  • Stress management techniques — biofeedback or physical therapy.
  • 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.
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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.

Night Guard versus Sports Guard

Both night guards and sports guards are made for and used to protect your teeth, however, they protect your teeth in different ways. At Apollo Dental in Ballantyne, we custom design the night guard and sports guard to fit your teeth. It helps retain the proper shape, teeth alignment and protects them from grinding and clenching.

Night Guard

They are made of durable hard acrylic plastic and the most popular and common treatment for teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism). They are worn while sleeping, nightly or during naps. They prevent further damage to the teeth surfaces from being worn down from the nightly grinding and clenching.

Sports Guard

It is an appliance prescribed to an athlete to protect the teeth from being damaged from a physical blow to the face or an accident. It covers the entire jaw and gums so that the entire mouth is covered. They are made from a softer material than a dental mouth guard so that can absorb the force of sudden impacts.

Tooth Extraction and Grafting

Our primary goal is to keep the teeth healthy and in your mouth for as long as possible, but sometimes because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture in the tooth — extraction becomes necessary. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection, resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly, resulting in unsightly defects.

At Apollo Dental, we will discuss all your options for you to make an informed decision. We want you to know that today, with advances in techniques and technology, tooth extractions are a fairly routine and painless procedure. Common reasons for extractions:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Alignment & bite problems
  • Infected tooth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Badly broken or decayed tooth

These jaw defects can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called socket preservation. Socket preservation can greatly improve your smile’s appearance and increase your chances for successful dental implants.

Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. In one common method, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with bone or bone substitute. It is then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue, which encourages your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, the socket heals eliminating shrinkage and collapse of the surrounding gum and facial tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket also provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth.

If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if socket preservation is necessary. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing the front teeth. Contact Apollo Dental today and we will help you preserve your teeth with our general dentistry services in the Ballantyne Charlotte and surrounding areas.

Business Hours

Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

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