TMJ Treatment – Owasso, OK

Helping You Find
Relief From Jaw Pain

Have you been experiencing pain in your jaw recently and aren’t sure why? There are a number of possible explanations, but in many cases, the issue may be that you’re suffering from what is known as TMJ disorder. Fortunately, Dr. Lim has been specially trained to help his patients find relief from this condition. If you’re ready to put your jaw pain behind you, don’t waste any more time; pick up the phone and call our dental office to start exploring your options for TMJ treatment in Owasso.

Why Choose Life Smiles of Owasso for TMJ Treatment?

  • Advanced Training in Neuromuscular Dentistry
  • Personalized
    Occlusal Splints
  • State-of-the-Art TENS Machine Treatment

What Is TMJ Disorder?

Side profile of the skull with T M J highlighted red

TMJ is an acronym that stands for “temporomandibular joint.” These are the joints that connect your jaw to your skull, and they’re responsible for a wide range of movement. You rely on smooth-functioning TMJs for normal daily actions like chewing, speaking, yawning, and laughing. So, when you begin suffering from TMJ pain in Owasso, it can severely impact your life.

If you are experiencing pain or some kind of malfunction with your TMJ, then you may have a condition called TMD: temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD may present with many uncomfortable symptoms that far surpass chronic jaw pain.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

You don’t want to ignore your TMJ disorder for too long, so it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms associated with it. Below are some common warning signs that can point to TMJ problems; we encourage you to reach out to our team immediately if any of these symptoms sound familiar.

Headaches & Migraines

Frustrated woman touching her temples in pain

Do you have chronic headaches and migraines? We know how disorienting and excruciating head pain can be. A common reason why people experience chronic headaches and migraines is TMJ disorder. Your misaligned jaw can cause your muscles and nerves to become strained, resulting in pain. Additionally, your trigeminal nerve, which runs through your jaw joint, could become pinched and trigger a migraine.

Learn More About Headache & Migraine Treatment

Earaches and Constant Ringing in the Ears

Older man holding his temples in pain

Ear symptoms due to TMJ disorder? Yes, you heard that right! TMJ disorder can cause earaches, ear ringing, ear congestion, and hearing loss. Your jaw joint sits below your ears and can pull on ligaments connecting to your inner ear.

Difficulty Chewing / Biting

Man holding a walnut between his teeth

TMJ disorder can cause difficulty with chewing or biting. You may feel that you are unable to open your mouth all the way or that you need to exert more force than usual when chewing. This is a telltale sign that your jaw is out of balance.

Jaw Locking/Popping

Man touching his jaw

Jaw noises are common for those with TMJ disorder. If you can hear your jaw click or pop when you open your mouth, it means your jaw is slipping in and out of place. Eventually, your jaw could degrade, and you could experience the alarming condition of a locked jaw, meaning your jaw could become stuck in an open position. If this happens, stay calm. Dr. Lim can safely unlock your jaw without causing further damage.

Neck & Shoulder Pain

Woman sitting at desk rubbing the back of her neck

Neck and shoulder pain are other common signs of TMJ disorder. Your jaw plays a significant role in your upper body. Your powerful jaw muscles become fatigued when pulling your jaw back into alignment. After some time, these muscles may seek support from your neck and shoulders, causing aches and pain in those areas.


Woman sitting at desk touching her temples

Remember when we said TMJ disorder could affect your ears? Your ears help you balance and know where you are in space. You could become dizzy and disoriented when your jaw muscles pull your ear canal. Some people even experience vertigo and can no longer perform their favorite activities until they seek treatment.

Tingling Fingers & Arms

Person squeezing their own fingers

Your jaw muscles and bone structure can pinch the nerves that run through your joint. Over time, you may notice tingling in your fingers and arms.

Why Is It so Important to Treat TMJ Disorder?

Side profile of the jaw with the jaw joint highlighted red

Many people suffer from TMJ pain for years before discovering something can be done about it. So naturally, one of the reasons to seek medical attention from your Owasso dentist is that you don’t have to live in pain. You can regain your quality of life with the right treatment.

But there are other reasons why you need to seek treatment when you have TMJ disorder. The pain you feel is telling you that something isn’t right. Sometimes, your pain may go away when your situation changes. For example, in a temporary situation of high stress, your teeth grinding may go away after the situation passes. You may also experience jaw pain from body aches due to an illness, but that, too, will often go away with time.

However, when your check engine light stays on consistently, you know something is wrong, and without maintenance, the problem will worsen. The same is true for TMJ disorder. If your pain persists for 10 days without a reasonable explanation, seek TMJ treatment in Owasso. Without treatment, you could experience the following:

  • Permanent nerve pain
  • Permanent hearing loss
  • Chronic pain disorder
  • Vertigo
  • Frequent headaches and migraines
  • Depression and anxiety

Dr. Lim’s Unique TMJ Treatment Approach

Doctor Lim looking at digital models of teeth on computer screen

There is no recognized dental specialty for TMJ treatment, so no dentist can legally be labeled a “TMJ specialist” or “TMJ dentist.” However, effectively treating TMJ disorder requires advanced training beyond what is offered in the basic dental school curriculum. Dr. Lim is one of only 500 fellows of the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, where he received advanced training in neuromuscular dentistry.

Since 2003, Dr. Lim has treated many patients from all corners of the country. They have chosen to visit Dr. Lim for help with managing migraine pain, neck pain, and TMJ pain after hearing about how he has successfully helped others. Even other medical professionals have referred their own patients to Dr. Lim because of his reputation for successfully treating TMJ pain. Dr. Lim’s extensive experience and passion for TMJ treatment and providing much-needed relief for his patients make him an outstanding choice for this type of care. He is ready to alleviate your jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms with his effective holistic approach.

Our TMJ Treatment Options

Dr. Lim will begin by carefully listening to you as you describe your TMJ issue. He will then conduct non-invasive and pain-free tests on your TMJ with a CT scanner and an EMG (electromyography) device. He will also gently examine your jaw to explore its range of motion and determine any other factors in your bite that may be contributing to your discomfort.

At Life Smiles of Owasso, we aim to treat TMJ disorder without medication, as Dr. Lim is a whole-health dentist. He will first recommend some medication-free techniques to help you soothe and manage your TMJ pain, and then he will discuss with you some potential solutions to address the underlying cause of your pain. Treatment could be as simple as wearing a special appliance or could involve extensive work, such as a full-mouth reconstruction to balance out your bite. Learn more about these options below.

Occlusal Splints

Man placing an occlusal splint tray over his teeth

An occlusal splint can be used to help stabilize the jaw, keeping it in a position where the jaw joints and the muscles around them aren’t exposed to as much strain. On top of that, an occlusal splint can be used to protect the teeth from unconscious clenching and grinding, which are common risk factors for TMJ disorder.

TENS Machine Treatment

Gloved hands working with a system of wires and electrodes

TENS is short for “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.” This type of treatment uses low-voltage electrical currents to help address your pain. The currents can stop pain signals from being sent to the brain. Furthermore, a TENS machine treatment can encourage the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

Equilibration / Occlusal Adjustments

Model of the skull with the jaw muscles highlighted red

If your TMJ disorder is due to problems with the alignment of your bite, equilibration may be suggested. In some cases, we will only need to make a few minor adjustments to your teeth; in other situations, a full-mouth reconstruction might be required. It all depends on the specifics of your disorder, which is why a detailed examination of your mouth and jaw is so important.


Is TENS Treatment for TMJ Safe?

TENS stands for “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.” It consists of temporarily placing electrode pads on your jaw joints, neck, or other areas that are in pain. Low-voltage electric currents then encourage your jaw muscles to relax, which reduces the stress of the TMJs while also causing your brain to produce endorphins that relieve pain. For the majority of people, TENS treatment is perfectly safe to use for TMD. It is non-invasive and doesn’t involve any needles or medication. There are a few contraindications to using a TENS machine. You should let your dentist know if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, have epilepsy, have a pacemaker, or have a heart condition. This way, an informed decision can be made for your safety.

How Long Does It Take for a TMJ Splint to Work?

Occlusal splints for TMD are usually worn at night while sleeping. You may notice that your symptoms begin to subside quickly, but they won’t disappear all at once. It takes time for your TMJs and the areas surrounding them to adjust to their new positions. After about six weeks, most patients experience noticeable improvement, but not full relief. It generally takes between three and six months before an occlusal splint resolves TMD discomfort.

How Long Does Occlusal Equilibration Take for TMJ?

Equilibration/occlusal adjustments can vary in how quickly they bring relief. This depends on the specific changes that are being made. However, once the bite is more aligned, most patients experience some level of relief soon after. Generally, it takes between one and three appointments for the necessary adjustments to be made to evenly distribute your bite force.

Can TMJ Be Treated Without Surgery?

Yes! The National Institutes of Health recommends using the most conservative methods possible for treating TMJ dysfunction. When it comes to treating TMD, less is often more. Since surgery makes permanent changes to the jaw and nearby anatomy, it is typically only suggested as a last resort. In most cases, TMD can be addressed with less invasive methods. This includes stress relief, occlusal splints, equilibration/occlusal adjustments, and TENS machines.