Nashua / Hudson NH Dentists
603-882-995530 Lowell Road
Hudson, NH


Columbus Dental Care Offers Patients Advanced Solutions for the Relief of TMJ, a Painful Condition Usually Caused by Stress Clenching / Grinding or Poor Dental Occlusion.

Do you suffer from chronic pain in your jaw and face, experience "popping" sounds when you chew and talk, or have symptoms such as headaches or lockjaw? If so, the problem may be TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder. This condition affects more than 10 million people in the U.S. alone.

TMJ disorders are more than just painful — over time, they can cause serious damage to your jaws and teeth.

TMJ Dysfunction is a popular term to describe a disorder of the jaw joints or the muscles that control the joints. Symptoms present in several ways, and often as other problems, including:

  • Migraines
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
  • Popping or clicking of your jaw
  • General jaw soreness
  • Teeth feeling loose
  • Sinus headaches
  • Earaches
  • Lockjaw

TMJ usually begins with clenching or grinding of teeth (also called bruxism), but most people are unaware that they grind or clench, as it usually happens when they are sleeping. It is often a person's partner who first notices that they are grinding their teeth.

People tend to go through phases of grinding their teeth, such as during times of stress. It is during these times you may need to wear an occlusal guard at night to prevent permanent damage of your teeth.

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can also result in fractioning, loosening, or loss of teeth. Chronic grinding can wear down your teeth to stumps. If this happens, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partials, or even complete dentures may be needed.

We can accurately pinpoint the source of your pain and provide relief using the very latest in gentle, nonsurgical treatments.

TMJ / Occlusal Guards

An occlusal guard is a horseshoe-shaped piece of plastic/acrylic worn over your natural teeth to protect them against damage caused by clenching or grinding. It works by creating a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth so that you bite against the plastic rather than wearing down your enamel or tooth structure.

The guard also works by disrupting muscle activity, disrupting grinding and clenching by as much as 40%, according to current research.

Mini / Anterior TMJ Deprogrammer

This is a smaller plastic guard, placed just at the front teeth. These have been shown to decrease clenching and grinding even more than the full occlusal appliances and are more comfortable and convenient.

Sports Mouth Guards

Whether you are an athlete or a casual sports participant, you should always wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth. Sports guards are almost always mandatory when playing school or team sports, but the generic versions cannot really do the job properly. If you play a lot of sports, especially contact sports such as football, basketball, hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and others, a custom-fitted sports guard is, in the long run, an inexpensive investment in your dental health.

In the Hudson or Nashua NH areas, or north of Lowell MA, it’s easy to schedule a consultation to see how Dr. Joseph Columbus can help you get relief from your TMJ symptoms.