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by Island News or Beaufort Gazette

Pain in your jaws, or even your head, could be caused by stress on your jaw joints, which can be caused a condition call Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD. TMD is often caused by an over-closed bite. Symptoms can include the following:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Limited opening
  • Ear congestion
  • Facial pain
  • Popping noises in the jaw joint

Drs. Gene Grace and Katherine Grace Hefner have treated hundreds of patients with a noninvasive “splint” or mouth guard that fits over the lower teeth. Our success rate by being able to measure muscle activity of the jaw has been phenomenal. We invite you to contact Aesthetic Dentistry at 843-524-6410 today to learn more about treatment for TMJ in Beaufort, South Carolina, and set up your next visit with our dentists.


I had orthodontics as a teen but in the last few years I have had terrible jaw, neck and back pain. My mother would massage my neck and shoulders frequently. A dentist on Hilton Head made me a splint but it made things worse. Dr. Grace ‘tensed’ the muscles on my face, made me a splint and I am symptom free. No more massages!Hilary C.

During my life, I have been plagued with vertigo and motion sickness from birth on. I (or my parents) should have owned stock in the “Dramamine” company. For all that I (they) have bought over the years, even the antivert medication, I (they) would be the millionaire. The motion sickness was helped with my back surgery, but the vertigo was still occurring especially after being in a prone position for any length of time. Some days were worse than others, which I could function, but with care except on the days (I mean days) that the room never stopped spinning. After one episode in Febuary of 2004 (which lasted over a month) and visiting my physician with the usual medication, I had an appointment with Dr. Grace and he thought he could help me. At this point I was willing to try anything. I followed through with the appointments for the test which were rather simple to me and in fact very relaxing. After I received my brace, I was faithful to wear it everywhere for almost 24 hours only removing to eat. I got to the point when I knew something was not right and would call. Dr. Grace was very good about seeing me before I went to work. I have had headaches all my life. I never thought about the headaches, but they mysteriously disappeared after about a week. I woke each morning and continue to awake without a headache or vertigo. I am supposed to wear it for about 12 hours daily, but I usually wear the brace about 18 to 20 hours daily. I just feel better knowing it is in my mouth. I do enjoy getting up in the mornings now and look forward to a good day, which are now more and more. My husband and I now plan many things and are enjoying life better. Thanks!Debra B.

For the last 5 or 6 years my jaw made a terrible popping noise upon opening wide. I have also had a chronic pain in the middle of my back and neck. Dr. Grace made me a splint and immediately my jaw made no sounds with my splint in. Within 2 weeks my neck and back pain went away. Unbelievable!! The next step is braces to open my bite where Dr. Grace has found the correct relationship between my upper and lower jaws.David E.

One morning the pain in my jaw, neck and ear was so severe that I couldn’t ignore the symptoms any longer. I called Dr. Grace and he saw me immediately. We began the steps that have brought me complete relief from pain. After full and thorough examinations, TMJ was diagnosed and an appliance was made amd very carefully fitted for my lower teeth. Adjusting to the appliance was not difficult and I’m able now to wear it fewer hours a day, but always at night.Joan H.

As a result of an automobile accident many years ago, I was experiencing headaches, neck and shoulder tension, clenching and grinding of the teeth, which grew progressively worse. My dentist referred me to an orthodontist for orthodontic treatment. Later still, upon relocating to Beaufort, the same symptoms returned. I made an appointment to see Dr. Grace. Dr. Grace suggested, after a routine examination, that I wear an orthotic device, which I agreed to do. I was amazed how much it helped, after a short time the discomforts went away. I accidentally broke it one morning. I tried sleeping without it two nights. The next day I could hardly open my mouth, I was in so much pain. I called Dr. Grace’s office for an emergency appointment. He graciously saw me and had my orthotic repaired, without cost. Two day later, the pain was gone! (After wearing it nightly). I would not hesitate to recommend this device to anyone, especially seniors.Martha H.

For a good part of my life I have had headaches that begin in the back of my neck – I thought they were related to stress. I was taking Advil every day. Gene (Dr. Grace) thought that there was some connection to my over closed bite even though I had no (TMJ) joint symptoms. He made me a clear plastic splint that fits over my lower teeth. That was 5 months ago. I have not had an Advil since.Bob J.

I suffered headaches, earaches, neck pain and jaw pain before I began to suspect I had a problem with my back molars on the right side. Fearing the worst, I made an appointment to see Dr. Grace and resigned to the fact I would probably need a root canal. Since my diagnosis with TMJ and acquiring the splint my symptoms have reduced to the point that I hardly suffer pain except when I go for extended periods of time without the appliance. The splint brings me relief from my symptoms and quite often goes unnoticed by individuals around me. I hope others know and experience the same relief from pain.Samantha S.