What are TMJ and TMD?

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint,” the hinge on the side of your jaw that connects it to your skull. TMD stands for “temporomandibular disorders,” which are problems that affect the way you use this joint. If you have TMD, you may experience jaw pain, limited movement, and difficulty chewing. You may also have headaches and trouble opening your mouth. These symptoms can have a significant negative impact on your daily quality of life. Chronic TMJ pain is a common cause of depression when people feel like no one really understands what they are feeling and that no one is able to help. The causes of TMJ disorder in Charleston are complex, varied and often include triggers such as stress and anxiety, non-restful sleep, and chronic back or neck pain.

Are any of these stressful symptoms affecting you?

If you’ve ever had a headache, you know how painful and annoying it can be. But what if the pain never went away? Or what if it got worse over time? That’s the reality for many people who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) in Charleston. And even though it’s common, many people don’t realize they have it—or that there are treatments that can help ease their symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it could mean you have TMJ.

  • Recurrent headaches or facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide enough to fit food in comfortably
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A popping, clicking, or grating sound in your ears when opening or closing your mouth

If you are experiencing any of these inconvenient symptoms, give our office a call immediately to discuss what treatment options could be best for you.

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Welcome to Costa and Williams

Helping patients recover and thrive

After graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, Dr. Costa and Dr. Williams both sought out additional advanced training to excel in the dental arts, learning to perform full mouth reconstruction and implant dentistry. Additionally, they gained an understanding of dental occlusion (how the teeth, joints, and bite fit together) and TMJ disorders. Jaw pain and TMJ problems can be life-altering at their worst. The most important factors in treatment success are a combination of knowledge and the willingness to listen and understand what you are going through.

Core treatment philosophy

Costa + Williams Dental Health Care strives to provide an environment of respect, transparency, and calm, where no one is rushed, pressured, or upsold. Dr. Costa and Dr. Williams see a limited number of patients a day, allowing all the time needed to thoroughly answer questions, address concerns, and create a personalized treatment plan that will produce successful, long-lasting results.

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Welcome to Costa and Williams

Underlying health conditions linked with TMJ

If you’re suffering from TMJ symptoms, you’re not alone. There’s a good chance that the root of your pain could be something more profound than just a simple jaw problem. Many times the symptoms are due to chronic health issues such as sleep apnea, acid reflux, stress, and anxiety.

Ease ongoing pain with these simple treatments

There are many TMJ treatments in Charleston. We generally start with the most conservative options and try to uncover and deal with the underlying factors to pave the way for long-term success and relief. We may recommend several of the following options for you:

Massage therapy

Massages can help ease tension in your jaw and let you relax. You can do these on your own or with a professional.


We offer medicines that can reduce pain and inflammation. These can be taken daily or as needed.

Night guards or splints

A custom-made splint protects your teeth from grinding and provides a stable platform to help your jaw remain in proper alignment while you sleep so that your muscles and joints can recover. This will help alleviate TMJ symptoms, protect your joints from further problems, and reduce the need for medication. It will also protect your teeth from wear, chips, and cracks due to clenching and grinding.

We welcome you to Costa + Williams Schedule Your First Visit

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