If you experience the pain and discomfort of TMD, Acora Dental is here to help! We are pleased to offer TMJ/TMD Therapy options to alleviate your pain and discomfort and help you attain optimum oral health.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the “hinge” that connects your lower jaw to your skull on both sides of your head. It is responsible for the opening and closing of your mouth, as well as moving your jaw from side to side. Like most other joints, the TMJ works well most of the time. However, there are instances where problems occur with the TMJ, which can cause severe pain, and affect your overall health.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) refer to problems associated with jaw movement and pain in and around the jaw. In some people, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) becomes overworked or stressed, which can lead to TMD. Bruxism, which is characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth, is a common form of TMD.
Causes of TMD:
While the precise cause of TMD can be difficult to pinpoint, there are certain things that can lead to it, including:
- Facial trauma
- Misaligned teeth or jaw
- Poor dental work
- Osteoarthritis or
Symptoms of TMD
Symptoms of TMD almost always come on gradually, so they are rarely noticed right away. Sometimes you might not even know that something is wrong with your TMJ because the symptoms make you think that it could be an entirely different issue. If you suffer from TMD, it can cause a variety of symptoms, including facial pain, difficulty chewing, earaches, frequent headaches, and your jaw may even lock. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Jaw pain
- Facial pain
- Pain while eating
- Popping, clicking, or a grinding sensation when you move your jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Difficulty opening and closing your mouth. Your jaw may even lock, preventing any motion at all.
Treatment for TMD
If TMD is discovered to be an issue, Acora Dental will come up with a tailored treatment plan. There are many different treatment options for TMD that are meant to help relieve the pain and damage associated with it. Acora Dental will discuss with you all of your options and help you choose the best course of action based on your specific case.
TMJ/TMD Therapy can include but is not limited to the following:
For some patients, TMD symptoms are minor, and treatments like applying heat or ice, or eating soft foods, may be enough to help alleviate symptoms. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can often be enough to alleviate mild pain.
If you suffer from Bruxism, you may be prescribed a custom night guard or splint, which helps to realign your teeth, thereby alleviating your TMD symptoms. A Night Guard is a custom-made plastic dental appliance that is worn over the upper and lower teeth to realign the jaw and help ease the pain associated with any misalignment. The thought is that by realigning the jaw and preventing the jaw from clicking, it will help alleviate symptoms. The Night Guard also helps to protect the teeth from the physical wear and tear resulting from the constant teeth grinding of bruxism, so that you bite against the Night Guard instead of wearing down your teeth.
Your Night Guard will be custom-made to fit your mouth specifically and will be specially designed based on the severity of your condition. The more you grind, the harder the Night Guard should be.