What is TMD and What Are My Options for Treatment?

06 Mar 2018

What is TMD and What Are My Options for Treatment?

If you are experiencing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), there are various treatment options available to you. We, at Scottsdale Esthetic & Implant Dentistry, will first diagnose the condition then will start with a conservative approach to treating you. If your TMD does not respond, you may need intervention to relieve you of your discomfort.

 

What Is TMD?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. If the joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a TMJ disorder (TMD). TMD includes a range of disorders that may overlap including muscle problems affecting jaw movement, pain in the face in the areas around the joint, and problems with the joint itself. The pain may be severe and can be intermittent or constant.

 

What Are The Symptoms?

The most common symptom is a dull ache in the TMJ and the surrounding areas. Some people report clicking or difficulty opening or closing the mouth, swelling, earache, misaligned teeth, and stiffness in the jaw. Some experience pain when yawning and frequently have tension headaches.

 

Managing the Symptoms

Anti-inflammatory medication and moist heat or ice applied to the side of your face may help reduce the pain. Eat soft foods cut up into small pieces and avoid chewing gum. Keep yawning to a minimum and avoid stressful jaw movements such as yelling or singing. Try to reduce stress and refrain from clenching or grinding your teeth.

 

Treatment Options

We will evaluate your joint to determine the best course of treatment. If you have an improper bite, orthodontics or restorations can correct it. We may need to provide you with a splint to reduce stress on your jaw and help improve your bite.

If there is no structural disorder, but there are defective interferences on your teeth affecting your bite and causing improper jaw closure, we may recommend occlusal equilibrium which involves reshaping of the biting surfaces of your teeth to allow your jaw to close correctly. If you have a structural disorder, you may require an intra-oral appliance, orthodontic treatment, or maxillofacial surgery. Surgery is the last resort after attempting all other conservative treatment options.

 

Talk to the Experts

Contact us at Scottsdale Esthetic & Implant Dentistry today to learn more about TMD and how to manage your condition. Our highly trained and experienced staff will discuss treatment options and will answer your questions. We are committed to providing you with the best care available. Schedule your appointment today!