Dr. Travis Howey has the experience and credentials you should look for when considering a dentist for TMJ treatment.
Dedicated to life-long learning, Dr. Howey has averaged 50 continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout his career; the minimum requirements for the state of Washington are 20 continuing education credit hours per licensing period!
“This is the absolute best dental office in all of Washington. Yes, I mean it. The staff is always friendly, the appointments are a breeze, and the care is second to none.”
Dr. Travis Howey, with a high-tech dental office located in Sammamish, is an experienced TMJ treatment dentist.
TMJ or TMD treatment
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint connects the lower jaw to the skull and enables you to open and close your mouth, chew and speak. You can feel the TMJ if you place your finger in front of your earlobe and open your mouth.
The TMJ is a delicate joint, so it can easily become damaged or inflamed. If this happens, the joint won’t move as freely as it used to. You might experience difficulty in chewing or opening your mouth and suffer from pain and discomfort.
Dentists use the term TMD (temporomandibular disorders) to refer to the various disorders that can affect the joint. TMJ pain, or TMD, can be caused by many factors, but the most frequent are:
The most common signs and symptoms of TMD are headaches (migraines and tension type), joint soreness, muscular pain near the joint, limited movements, and painful clicking or popping sound when opening or closing your mouth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please get in contact with our office. Dr. Howey will examine your mouth and joint to determine the cause of this pain and advise you on how to ease the discomfort.
Common Symptoms of TMJ:
TMJ symptoms can worsen over time. Finding the appropriate treatment can bring forth some much-needed relief. The goal is to create a personalized solution to eliminate painful symptoms, correct any damage and prevent further dental issues associated with TMJ.
Video 01:00 | From time to time almost everyone has experienced facial pain. It’s possible that the pain may be related to the joint located in the front of your ear called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.
Teeth grinding or bruxism
Bruxism is one of the most frequent causes of TMJ pain. Patients that suffer from bruxism can either clench or grind their teeth. It is more common at nighttime, and patients often relate waking up in the morning with severe headaches and muscular pain.
Dr. Howey can recognize signs of bruxism during a clinical examination. Patients that grind their teeth have marks of tooth wear and even crack or chips in their teeth. If he suspects bruxism during a check-up, he will ask you a few more questions to confirm the diagnosis and recommend wearing a nightguard.
A night guard is a plastic protective device custom-made to fit over the upper or lower teeth. It prevents the enamel loss caused by teeth grinding, keeping your teeth strong and avoiding tooth sensitivity, and helps relax facial muscles. There are many different types of night guards, and what may work for one patient may not work another.
Teeth clenching usually happens while you sleep, so perhaps you don’t even know that you grind your teeth. Dr. Howey will look for signs of bruxism and, if required, indicate a night guard to protect your teeth against further wear.