Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

The complex jaw joints allow you to eat, talk, yawn, and perform a variety of other daily activities. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder or TMD) refers to a group of conditions which involve these joints, the lower jaw, and the surrounding muscles. The most common symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain, tightness, clicking or popping, and restricted jaw movement. However, there are several other symptoms connected to TMD which can affect the entire body. If you are concerned about the health of your jaw, speak to a dentist about your treatment options

Understanding Your Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms which can indicate an issue with your TMJs. TMD often causes pain and discomfort, which may be temporary or last for years. Some patients only experience symptoms on one side of their face, while others deal with issues in both joints. Periods of stress may exacerbate these effects. 

Pain and Discomfort

Man holding jaw in painTypically, the most obvious sign of TMD is jaw pain. However, pain can radiate from the jaw and affect other parts of your body, including the:

  • Cheeks
  • Ears
  • Temples
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Back

Toothaches, headaches, and migraines can all be associated with temporomandibular issues. You may experience pain while moving your jaw to eat, speak, or yawn. In many cases, patients notice an aching feeling or tenderness in the joints or other areas of the face. 

Popping and Clicking Sounds

Periods of stress may exacerbate the effects of TMJ disorder. 

Many patients with TMJ disorder notice unusual sounds while eating, talking, or opening their mouths. These sounds may take the form of popping, clicking, or grinding. In some cases, noises are accompanied by pain or a grating sensation, but oftentimes they are painless. Keep in mind some noise is quite common and may not indicate TMD. However, when popping or other sounds are accompanied by discomfort or limited jaw movement, it may be related to TMJ disorder

Auditory Issues

Some patients experience changes in their hearing. Buzzing or ringing in the ears, often accompanied by earaches, may indicate issues with the TMJs. Typically, these symptoms are accompanied by pain in the jaw joints. 

Restricted Jaw Movement

TMJ disorder can also impact your ability to move your jaw comfortably.  Patients with TMD may struggle to fully open their jaw or experience limited mobility which prevents their jaw from moving in certain directions. Muscle spasms, lockjaw, and jaw dislocation can also indicate issues with the TMJs.

Other Symptoms

There is a range of other symptoms which can signal TMD, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • A suddenly uncomfortable bite
  • Swelling on the side of the face or in the temple area

If you do not have localized jaw pain, your doctor may look for another potential cause before screening for TMJ disorder.

Restore Your Comfort

Issues with your jaw joints can be uncomfortable and affect your daily life. While the exact causes of TMD are not fully understood, there are a variety of treatment options available to improve your symptoms. Self-care techniques, such as eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum, and managing stress can help limit the effects of TMD.

However, if you have persistent symptoms, you should speak to a doctor about treatment. Non-surgical options, such as mouthguards and BOTOX®, can help. For more severe TMD, your doctor may recommend you visit an oral surgeon. 

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

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

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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