Treatment for temporomandibular disorders (TMD, often referred to as TMJ) is something we take seriously at Advanced Dentistry. This important joint is what allows us to talk, chew, yawn, and basically open our mouths. When there is something wrong with the joint, it can cause anything from discomfort to immobility.
What Are Some Reasons People Have TMD?
The most common reasons for suffering include arthritis, stress, grinding/clenching (bruxism), or injury. The degree varies from person to person, and may last for a short time or for years on end.
What Are The Symptoms Of TMD?
Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw, even around the ears. This can be greater while speaking, chewing, or opening the mouth at all.
- Popping or clicking sound while moving the jaw.
- Trouble with opening the mouth wide.
- Tired or tight feeling in the jaw.
- Tension headaches.
- Issues with bite.
- Patients who clench or grind may notice flattening of the teeth or indentations on the sides of the tongue.
What Can Be Done To Help Or Eliminate TMD?
As part of your general dental exam, we will check for signs of TMD. This may require digital radiography along with a visual and manual check. If we believe you may be suffering from TMD due to evidence of clenching or grinding, we may recommend a nightguard. This device protects the mouth and jaw and helps relax the jaw muscles, therefore reducing pain and other symptoms. Your night guard will be custom designed and will fit comfortably. Since many people tend to clench/grind while they are sleeping, this night guard may be all that is needed to resolve the problem. If matters don’t subside, we may refer you to a specialist who can provide further care and relief.
What Can I Do To Alleviate TMD Pressure And Pain?
Do your best not to clench or grind. Avoid excessive or extreme jaw movements. Keep your mouth in a relaxed position when possible in a slightly open position. Chewing gum may be something to cut down on too.