TMJ/Headache Relief

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Why Proper Dental Hygiene Doesn’t Only Revolve Around Your Teeth

TMJ Treatment in Calgary

  • Are you experiencing popping or clicking noise when you move your jaw?
  • Are you experiencing jaw and neck pain?
  • Do your jaw joints click or pop and create tension behind your ears or eyes?

You might require a TMJ treatment!

If left untreated, you might experience further discomfort including headaches, migraine, neck pain and etc.

Your upper and lower teeth must close tightly together in order to swallow effectively.

When your bite is unstable and the teeth do not fit together properly, your body automatically adjusts to make them fit.

This adjustment can result in a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that is forced into an unbalanced and painful position.

This lack of balance affects all surrounding muscles, resulting in tension in the head, neck and upper back.

What Is TMJ?

Jawbones are fascinating, and we’re not just saying so because we’re dentists.

Your jaw joints, which allow the jaw to move, are called the temporomandibular joints, also known as TMJ.

These joints are found on either side of the head, in front of the ears and connect the jawbone to the skull. They can rotate, move backward, side-to-side and forward so you can chew, swallow, speak and yawn.

Sometimes a TMJ doesn’t work properly—resulting in pain, a clicking jaw, and difficulty chewing. This can occur with the bone, muscle or tissues in or around the TMJ.

When there is a problem with one or both TMJs, the condition is called temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

Meet Dr. Tom Shackleton

Dr. Tom Shackleton, DDS at Sierra Dental is a general dentist that focuses his practice around performing root canals and facial pain. He has been practicing in Calgary for over 20 years.

He is a member of the Alberta Dental Association & College and the Canadian Dental Association.

Dr. Shackleton performs a variety of procedures daily including root canals, endodontic retreatment, oral medicine, TMJ and orofacial pain.

TMJ Treatment in Calgary

TMJ treatment in Calgary should be handled by professionals, with experience in orofacial conditions like TMJ. At Sierra Dental, we understand that everyone’s body is unique and the treatment should also be uniquely fitted to each patient.

TMD involves issues that could be very complex, which is why our approach towards treatment is adaptive and designed to work with patients—not just work on patients.

Every part of the body connects to each other and works together. When you experience chronic pain, it has a significant impact on your life. Sometimes the answer does not lay in medication. It might just be as simple as restoring the balance of your body.

What Are The Symptoms of TMJ?

The symptoms of TMJ are different for everyone.

However, the following symptoms are some of the most common cases we’ve received relating to TMJ disorder:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Facial pain
  • Gum tissue recession
  • Jaw and neck pain
  • Clenched or grinding teeth
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Swelling in the TMJ area
  • Postural changes
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Sleep disorder like snoring and sleep apnea
  • A loud clicking or popping noise when eating
What Causes TMD?

While an exact cause for TMJ has been undetermined, there are many ways in which you might get the disorder.

Here’s a list of some common risk factors that can lead to TMD:

  • Physical trauma to the head or neck
  • Wear and tear
  • Arthritis
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Whiplash
  • Stress
  • Extreme pressure on the teeth caused by clenching and grinding
  • Damage to the ball and socket
  • Movement of the disc between the ball and socket
How To Treat TMJ Disorder?

A person’s TMJ is supported by several tendons and muscles between the jaw and skull, and effects speaking, eating, and jaw movement.

If TMD is left untreated, symptoms that may be minor at first can progress into debilitating issues that get in the way of everyday function.

Each case of TMD is different, the dentist will determine the best possible course of treatment based on the patient.

First Step in Diagnosis

We get a comprehensive patient history, including patient behaviours like gum chewing and tooth grinding. The next step will be to get diagnostic records that will take pictures of the joint or joints if required this may be a panoramic x-ray, CBCT or even an isolated joint x-ray MRI.

TMJ Treatments

There are a number of different treatments for TMJ and no “perfect solution” for jaw pain it all depends on the individual patient. Some temporary treatments for patients could include eating soft foods, ice and heat pads, and de-stressing.

A custom-fitted appliance can be made for teeth grinding to use when sleeping and can significantly help with the issue. Irritating pain can be alleviated with the help of over the counter pain medication, or take home exercises for the muscles.

If you suffer from TMJ there are things you can do to help relieve the pain and pressure associated with it.

  • Medication
  • Avoid pressure
  • Keep your teeth slightly apart
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat soft foods
  • See your dentist

Learn more here.

Evening & Weekend Appointment

We understand that you are busy and don’t always have time to visit a dentist for a routine checkup in the middle of your Monday. That’s why we offer extended hours from 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday.

We are also open all throughout the weekend. That’s right, we’re open every day of the week.

Direct Billing To Insurance Plans

To support our clients, we offer direct billing, predeterminations of treatments, and financial arrangements to all our patients to ensure smooth and easy payment transactions.

Payment Plans & Financing Available

We understand that dental services can be an unexpected expense. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans and options to suit our patients’ needs. Speak with one of our dental assistants to learn more.


Fill out the form below and one of our friendly team members will get back to you as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between TMD and TMJ?

TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder because it refers to afflictions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These joints are found on either side of the head, in front of the ears and connect the jawbone to the skull. The joints can rotate, move backward, side-to-side and forward. It lets you chew, swallow, speak and yawn, but if a problem occurs with the bone, muscle or tissues in or around the TMJ, it could lead to TMD.

What causes TMJ?

While an exact cause for TMJ has been undetermined, there are many ways in which you might get the disorder. Dentists basically put all temporomandibular joint disorders and jaw problems in the category of TMJ. Below, are some of the factors believed to cause TMJ.

  • A hard blow to the jaw or head
  • Whiplash
  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Extreme pressure on the teeth caused by clenching and grinding
  • Damage to the ball and socket
  • Movement of the disc between the ball and socket

TMJ can be painful and quite stressful. It is crucial that you see a professional for treatment.

Can TMJ cause dizziness?

The reason you may experience dizziness with TMJ is that of the constriction of muscles of your face, neck, and head. Many people with TMJ seek out the help of a neuromuscular dentist, who is intimately familiar with TMJ and treating it. Jaw x-rays may be performed to determine diagnosis or the cause of the problem.

Dizziness is not always a symptom of TMJ, but it is certainly one of the possible symptoms, and if you are experiencing it, you should talk to your dentist or have them recommend you to a neuromuscular dentist as soon as possible. While dizziness may sound like something fairly minor, if left untreated, it can be chronic and end up having a major impact on your quality of life.

Can a full-mouth restoration help my TMJ?

Full-mouth restoration, also referred to as reconstructive dentistry, is designed to correct the effects of tooth damage or traumatic injury and rebuild your smile. It can also do wonders for patients suffering from dental pain, a bad bite or malocclusion, jaw soreness, and a range of other symptoms of temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).

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