24207 Kingsland Blvd Katy, TX 77494

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TMJ Treatment Katy, TX

Do you wake up with frequent migraines? Does your jaw pop or click when you eat chewy or hard foods? You may have a TMJ disorder. Dr. Catherine Wilder and Dr. Lauren Shepard offer TMJ treatment to patients in Katy, TX.

Temporomandibular joint disorders are caused by dysfunction in or damage to the joints that connect the jawbone to the skull. The temporomandibular joints act like sliding hinges and work whenever you open and close your mouth.

Addressing TMJ disorders helps restore the smile and stop pain and damage caused by dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint. Drs. Wilder and Shepard offer a range of treatments, including custom oral appliances for complex bite problems. We seek to address the root problem of a TMJ disorder. Finding the root of the problem helps us work with you to restore your oral health and long-term stability in your natural smile.

TMJ Treatment in Katy, Texas

Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders can affect the jaw, teeth, and facial muscles in a variety of ways:

  • Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • Jaw pain
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Tooth wear
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Restricted jaw mobility

Please let our office know if you have noticed any of these symptoms. We can examine your smile to find any areas of wear or dysfunction that indicate a bite problem. Our office will also consider where you feel your symptoms when planning treatment.

The Causes of TMJ Disorders

It can be hard to determine exactly what causes a particular case of TMJ. One of the most common reasons is bruxism, or grinding and clenching of the teeth. Stress, medication, and other factors cause bruxism. The actions of grinding and clenching wear down the disc in your jaw joint. It’s this disc that makes the joint track smoothly.

Trauma or dislocation of the jaw or the disc is another common cause. If you have certain types of arthritis, they damage the disc and cause inflammation of the joint, leading to TMJ issues.

An uneven bite is another prominent cause of TMJ. If your bite is uneven, the two portions of your jaw don’t come together properly. Your jaw joint has to move in a way that isn’t completely natural to ensure those pieces of the jaw come together to perform their necessary functions.

TMJ Treatment in Katy, TX

If you suspect you have a bite disorder, some treatments can help relieve your painful symptoms. There are multiple treatment options for patients with TMJ disorders:

Jaw Exercises and Stress Management

We recommend jaw exercise and stress and anxiety management for patients with mild TMJ symptoms. In addition, taking pain and anti-inflammatory medicine and relaxing the jaw can reduce mild TMJ pain. Patients receiving physical therapy and professional dental care can learn how to treat stress long-term. Physical therapists teach patients to reduce muscle tension and pain in their face, jaw, and upper body.


We can create custom oral appliances or nightguards for TMD patients. Nightguards act like mouthguards and are worn at night to stop tooth and jaw pain, clenching, and teeth grinding. To create nightguards, we take dental impressions of the teeth. Then, we send these impressions to a local dental lab to create the nightguard. The nightguard will cover the upper or lower teeth with a hard plastic.

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common symptom of TMJ disorders. Over time, teeth grinding wears down the tooth enamel and causes pain in the jaw and face. Wearing a nightguard during sleep will reduce jaw pressure and prevent chips or cracks in the tooth enamel.

Laser Therapy

We can use an infrared light or a laser to alleviate jaw and facial pain. This light can also reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow. Laser therapy delivers infrared light directly to painful areas of the face, including the jaw and facial muscles. This light also helps to heal nerves and stimulate collagen production.

We often recommend laser therapy for patients who experience chronic pain due to TMD. Our office may recommend laser therapy in addition to other TMJ treatments.

TMJ Treatment FAQs

How do you know if your TMJ is severe?

If your jaw is painful or has trouble fully opening or closing it, we advise you to seek medical assistance immediately. These are all signs of severe TMJ.  Possible causes and remedies for your issue might be discussed with your doctor, dentist, or a TMJ specialist. Call our office today to schedule an appointment or discuss potential treatment methods.

How do you relax your jaw when sleeping?

Put a warmed cloth on the side of your face to relax your jaw. Stretching and massaging is also a great way to relax your facial and jaw muscles. You can also change your jaw position. When resting, position your tongue behind your teeth to help relax your jaw.

Can TMJ take months to heal?

The majority of TMJ symptoms usually go away in three weeks or less. However, this depends on the severity of the underlying issue. Some TMJ conditions, particularly those brought on by arthritis or bruxism, can endure months or even years.

What happens if TMJ doesn’t go away?

Without treatment, TMJ can permanently cause the jaw to lose its bone mass and cartilage. As the jawbone decays, the cartilage that supports the joint will also deteriorate. This leads to uncomfortable jaw friction and raises the risk of jaw dislocation.

What is the most effective treatment for TMJ?

The most widely advocated treatment for TMJ symptoms is a bite guard. According to research, long-term ill effects from using a bite guard to relieve TMJ symptoms are less likely. A bruxism (tooth grinding) mouthguard and a TMJ mouthguard are the two primary varieties of a bite guard. Both of these mouthguards may treat TMJ disorders.

Request a Dental Consultation

Do you suffer from frequent headaches or jaw pain? Receive TMJ treatment in our Katy, TX, dental office today. Schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Shepard and Dr. Wilder on our website. You can also call Katy Smile Design at 281.396.4366.