TMJ Treatment Tulsa, OK

When your bite, jaw muscles, and joints do not work harmoniously, it can lead to TMD, a temporomandibular joint disorder. This can be caused by a traumatic jaw injury or occlusal habits, such as grinding or clenching. Unfortunately, there is no recognized specialty for TMJ, so there’s no such thing as a “TMJ dentist.” Most dentists who treat TMJ disorders are licensed as general dentists. Dr. Jerome Cha has been actively treating TMJ disorders for years and uses a variety of methods of TMJ treatment in Tulsa, OK.

TMJ treatments are integral to restorative dental care. Restoring comfort to the TMJ can also renew the full function and health of the teeth and surrounding structures. 

TMJ Treatment in Tulsa, OK

Common Causes and Signs of TMJ Disorders 

TMJ disorders occur due to stress and pressure on the temporomandibular joints. These joints lie on either side of the face and connect the jaw bone to the skull. The TMJ acts as sliding hinges that aid in biting and chewing function. An injury, pressure, or stress to these joints creates TMJ disorders.

Some of the most common signs of TMJ disorders can include:

  • Regular headaches or migraines
  • Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth
  • Teeth clenching and grinding
  • Unexplained loose teeth
  • Clicking or grinding sound in your jaw joints
  • Pain or pressure in your joints
  • Limited movement of your jaw
  • Ringing in your ears

Please get in touch with our office if you begin to notice any of these symptoms. We will examine your smile and jaw to determine if you have a TMJ disorder. 

TMJ Treatment in Tulsa, OK

Dr. Cha prefers to start with the least invasive TMD treatments first. The treatment objective is usually to relieve the pain associated with the jaw joint disorder.

Oral Appliance

Sometimes, wearing a simple oral mandibular device can address TMD. We provide custom-made nightguards to protect teeth and stop tooth wear. In our office, we will take dental impressions of your teeth to ensure the oral appliance fits comfortably. 

A TMJ mouthguard gently moves your bite into a proper, healthy position. It also allows your joint to move correctly. An oral appliance, especially worn during sleep, prevents tooth pain and wear from continual teeth clenching and grinding.


Another option is using botulinum injections or Botox to relax the hyperactive muscles of mastication. Sometimes, it is necessary to use combination therapy. Botox is a neurotoxin that temporarily freezes the facial muscles. Injecting Botox into facial muscles can reduce chronic headaches, jaw pain, and facial pain.

No matter the treatment, Dr. Cha has seen a significant success rate with his patients. Over 90% of TMJ disorder patients have reported relief from the pain they’ve been experiencing with professional treatment.

Restorative and Cosmetic Treatments

Worn, crooked, and damaged teeth can contribute to TMJ disorders. When you have an unbalanced bite, it puts more pressure on your TMJ and facial muscles. Sometimes, creating an even bite or a straighter smile with these treatments can reduce strain on the teeth and jaw:

  • Invisalign: These clear aligners realign crooked teeth into a straighter position. We recommend Invisalign over metal braces because it offers quick, comfortable treatment. 
  • Bonding: Tooth bonding uses tooth-colored resin to add to chipped and cracked teeth. Bonding offers more economical treatment than other treatments like veneers or crowns.
  • Crowns: We recommend crowns if you have worn or fractured teeth. A crown is a tooth-colored cap that covers and adds structure to the tooth.

How to Treat TMJ Pain At Home

In addition to in-office care, we recommend at-home treatments to help relieve TMJ pain:

  • Jaw Exercises: One of the best ways to reduce headaches and jaw pain is jaw exercises. When you notice yourself clenching your jaw, you can learn the best techniques to relax your jaw. One method is to place the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth. Then, slowly open and close your mouth. You can also learn additional jaw exercises at physical therapy. 
  • Ice Packs and Heating Pads: We recommend icing your joints and muscles if you have new TMJ pain. Ice can effectively reduce inflammation. If you have experienced chronic TMJ issues, use a heating pad on the outside of the jaw. Heat helps improve blood circulation and soothe the joints. 
  • Soft Food Diet: We may recommend a soft diet at the beginning of your TMJ treatment. Sticking to a soft diet for several weeks relieves jaw pressure and tension. Avoid chips, pizza crusts, nuts, and other hard and crunchy foods as you receive treatment. 

Most of the time, at-home care is not enough to fully address TMJ disorders. Contact a professional if you have chronic tooth and jaw pain and experience morning headaches.

Can Medication Treat TMJ Disorders?

Your doctor can prescribe medication to relieve TMJ symptoms like headaches and facial pain. Pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, and muscle relaxants are common medications recommended for TMJ patients.

Do I Need a Physical Therapist for TMJ Disorders?

Sometimes, we will recommend physical therapy for TMJ patients. Physical therapy is a great addition to oral appliance therapy or Botox treatments.

You will learn exercises and techniques from a physical therapist during physical therapy. Your therapist will help you improve your posture and learn exercises for your upper body and face. They will also apply heat and use massage to treat tense muscles. Physical therapy will help you address joint and muscle pain.

What Causes TMJ Flare-Ups?

Symptoms of TMJ disorders can flare up for several reasons. Eating hard foods, increased stress levels, and even poor posture can trigger TMJ symptoms. Eating hard and crunchy foods requires more pressure from your teeth and jaw to bite and chew. This increased pressure can lead to jaw and tooth pain. Cutting foods into smaller pieces or eating softer foods can help relieve this pain as you receive treatment. 

If you have increased daily stressors, it can be harder to treat your TMJ flare-up. However, relaxation techniques, including breathing and jaw exercises, can help relieve stress.

You may also not realize that poor posture can worsen TMJ symptoms. If you notice you have hunched-up shoulders or constantly look down at a screen all day, improving your posture can improve your symptoms. Poor posture can strain your muscles and joints. Moving your shoulders back and getting into the habit of working on an elevated screen can reduce chronic TMJ pain.

Call Our Tulsa Dental Office Today

If you suspect you are suffering from TMJ disorder, contact our Tulsa, OK, dental office. Request a dental appointment with us on our website. You can also call Hope Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry for care today at 918-347-1114. Please let us know if you have any questions about TMJ treatment or TMJ disorders. We’re here to help you.