Woman clutching jaw

TMJ

Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, may be susceptible to a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. 

Living with TMJ problems can be stressful. TMDs can cause grinding and clenching, and even jaw pain, headaches, and tooth damage.

Fortunately, the dentists at South Point Family Dentistry in Belmont, NC, can help. Message us to learn more.

Wondering if You Have TMJ Problems?

Typical hallmarks of TMD include clenching, jaw tightness, and headaches. 

The Temporomandibular Joint: A Small But Crucial Part of Your Jaw

The temporomandibular joint is located in between your mandible and temporal bone. It plays many important roles. From allowing you to talk to helping you eat, it is crucial for multiple aspects of everyday life. However, if the TMJ becomes worn or inflamed, you may have a TMD.

Many Patients Do Not Realize The Effect TMJ Disorders Can Have on Their Teeth

While our teeth can withstand a fair amount of pressure, they're not invulnerable.

Over time, TMJ disorders can damage your back teeth. The action of clenching or grinding your TMJ can cause cracks, chips, or other breakage. It may also cause your back teeth to become worn from all the pressure.

Finally, your teeth may feel loose, which can be uncomfortable and stressful.

Though realizing you may have a TMD can seem overwhelming, you do not have to take another step of this journey without help. Our caring, knowledgable dentists can treat your temporomandibular joint problems with oral appliance therapy. ​

Want to learn more about how you can protect your teeth — and finally live pain free?

We Are Proud to Offer Treatment for Your Temporomandibular Disorder

Our dentists offer TMD treatment through oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances are also sometimes known as splints.

Oral appliance therapy is a simple yet effective way to reposition your jaw and alleviate the effects of your temporomandibular joint problems.

This treatment keeps you from grinding and clenching, allowing your inflammation to subside.

Our Office Is Open on Saturdays For Your Convenience

Have a busy schedule? We understand.

Dr. McCord, Dr. Maino, Dr. Starr, Dr. Rodda, and Dr. Clark work hard to accommodate our patients with Saturday hours.

Our Belmont, NC, dentistry practice is also open for extended hours from 7:00am - 7:00pm on Tuesdays through Thursdays, so you can receive dental treatment at a time that works for your schedule.

Let Our Dentists Show You a World Without TMJ Problems

Headaches, jaw aches, and even earaches — life with TMD can mean daily pain.

Some patients even experience difficulty opening and closing their mouths due to inflamed TMJ joints, making it hard for them to eat or talk.

For a few, TMJ issues may go away after an injury heals or their stress decreases. For others, though, TMD symptoms may persist. TMJ treatment can provide lasting relief.

From finding a diagnosis to treating TMD with oral appliance therapy, our Belmont, NC, dentists may be able to help you.

Excited to begin a new stage? Contact our Gastonia-area office or call

(704) 825-5111

South Point Family Dentistry office
South Point Family Dentistry is located in Belmont, NC, close to Gastonia and Charlotte. When you need us, we're here.

New Patients — Save Time on Your First Appointment By Printing and Filling Out our Forms

"They go above and beyond!" Reviews From Our Charlotte-Area Patients

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Tonya Bumgardner

2022

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Top notch! Been going to this office for many years. Referred my friends and family as well! Dr. McCord and his staff are very friendly and personable! They take the time to get to know you and care about you as a person. Not only do they go the extra mile to take care of your dental needs, but your overall well-being! They go above and beyond! Love it here!!!

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1

Anoush Moazami

2021

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I had done TMJ surgery previously and I ended up with alot of problems. I went to many other doctors, with no avail. Dr McCord offered to treat me and so far, I have been very pleased with the outcomes, where other specialists and high priced doctors could not succeed. I am thankful for his compassion.

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Prevention and Protection: See How Oral Appliance Therapy Works

Illustration showing how an oral appliance realigns the teeth
Your oral appliance will reposition your jaw and tongue, stopping you from grinding your teeth in your sleep. This can prevent the uncomfortable symptoms of TMJ problems, such as migraines or sore throats. It can also protect your jaw joints, bones, and teeth.

How Often Should I Use My Oral Appliance?

TMJ disorders can be persistent.

While some go away after an injury heals or a stressful situation resolves, others may stick around.

However, if you are consistent with wearing your oral appliance, then you will likely see your symptoms resolve.

Our dentists will give you specific instructions based on your needs. Usually, though, patients will need to wear their mouthguard nightly. If you also wear a retainer, then you can switch between the two, wearing a mouthguard one night and a retainer the next.

Though a mouthguard may feel strange at first, you can get used to it quickly.

It may also help you to remember that you will be asleep most of the time you're wearing it. Not to mention, you'll likely sleep better too.

I May Have a Temporomandibular Disorder Will I Need Surgery?

Our experienced Belmont, NC, dentists may be able to treat your TMD with oral appliance therapy alone. A mouthguard can relieve the pressure on your jaw joint, leading to reduced or eliminated symptoms.

While you may feel nervous, let us reassure you: many patients can be treated using just a mouthguard.

Typically, temporomandibular joint surgery is only used as a last resort. We would consider it only after you have exhausted all the options, such as an oral appliance (also known as a splint).

If you do not see progress from oral appliance therapy, you may need to visit a trusted specialist. Our Charlotte-area dentists can refer you out if needed.

"Dr. McCord and his team are like visiting family." Why Our Belmont, NC, Patients Trust Us

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Timothy Mikels

2021

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Dr. McCord and his team are like visiting family. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. It's not like the old days when people dreaded going to the dentist. I would suggest for anyone to check them out and like me they will make you feel like part of their family! Dr McCord and his staff are talented and I have all the confidence they have the best interest in mind for me and my dental needs!!!

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1

Lori Collier

2020

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UNBELIEVABLE!!! DR. McCord is the BEST! His staff & assistance were always so helpful & Very Professional! Dr. McCord started working on my teeth in January & after many visits & his expertise we finally finish last week!!! I couldn't be happier with my teeth. I'm smiling right now!! I would recommend this place for Everyone! I want to Thank all of you for being so kind & AWESOME! I'll see y'all on the next go round!!!

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Other Ways to Ease the Painful Symptoms Of Temporomandibular Disorders

TMJ disorders can lead to pain in your neck, head, and even ears. In addition to oral appliance therapy, there are several options to find relief from the symptoms of your TMJ problems, like:

Eating Soft Foods

Your temporomandibular joint may be inflamed after repeated grinding. Give it time to heal by eating soft, healthy food like smoothies, scrambled eggs, and yogurt.

Active Jaw Repositioning

Ever notice you're clenching your jaw? Some of us do this without realizing. Being mindful of your grinding can allow you to actively stop and give your TMJ some slack. This takes time and practice, but it may help you.

Approved Jaw Exercises

Some patients find relief from TMJ with jaw exercises. You may be able to ask your dentist about approved exercises for your case, which can reduce pain and inflammation in your TMJ.

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South Point Family Dentistry

Drs. Gary McCord, Christopher Maino, Ashley Starr, and Dr. Matthew Rodda are highly trained dentists who combine advanced training and compassionate care to help patients of all ages achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. They are affiliated with prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Dental Association
  • North Carolina Dental Society
  • Academy of General Dentistry

We work with most insurance plans and offer financing. To visit our office, request an appointment online or call us at (704) 825-5111.

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Belmont, NC

1215 Spruce St
Belmont, NC 28012

Open Today 7:00am - 7:00pm

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