The Temporomandibular Joint, commonly referred to as TMJ, connects the jaw to the skull and is located at the front of the human ear. Its primary function is to move the jaw horizontally and vertically when one talks, eats, or yawns. Temporomandibular Disorder, TMD, is a condition or disorder that affects the TMJ. If you are having any pain or have injuries to the neck and head muscles, you are likely suffering from temporomandibular disorder, and you may need some treatment right away. At Smile Family Dentistry, we will help in diagnosing this dental disorder and can offer the best treatment according to your condition.
Causes of TMD
There is no definite cause of temporomandibular disorder, but its symptoms arise when there are issues with jaw muscles or the joint itself. Injuries caused by accidents, a blow to the neck or jaw might lead to this disorder. Other causes include teeth grinding, teeth clenching, soft cushion or disc movements between the joints socket and ball, joint arthritis, and stress, which lead to tightening of the jaws and clenching of the teeth.
Symptoms of TMD
The temporomandibular disorder often causes discomfort and severe pain to the patient, and the condition can last forever if not taken care of. The ailment is more profound in women, especially the youth, and can affect one or both jaws. Common symptoms include pain or tenderness in the patient's face, neck, shoulders, and the affected area, and more prevalent when one wants to yawn or open the mouth wide. Other symptoms include having a stuck jaw when the mouth opens or closes, sounds when opening or closing the jaw, pain when chewing and biting, swelling of the face, and tiredness on the face. Other patients also undergo headaches, toothaches, dizziness, neck aches, hearing problems, earaches, and ear ringing.
How to Diagnose TMD
It is not easy to know that you are suffering from TMD unless our professional makes a thorough diagnosis, including a physical examination and going through your health history. The disorder has symptoms exactly as those experienced by individuals undergoing tooth decay, arthritis, sinus disorder, and gum disease.
Find out in if you could be affected by TMJ Disorders.
When you come for examination, our professional will examine the jaws for pain, change in appearance, tenderness, and sounds, if any, before opting for an x-ray procedure to determine your jaw condition. Other tests include magnetic resonance imaging and computer tomography to check jaw position and other finer details.
After our dentist ascertains that you are suffering from the disorder, they will treat the condition to alleviate the pain and heal it. Other than medication to relax the swelling and cure the problem, they will give you a muscle relaxer to avoid grinding and clenching your teeth and reduce the pain. Other measures include having a dental procedure to correct any dental problem causing the condition and providing you with a night mouthguard to reduce teeth clenching and grinding while asleep. Other more advanced treatments include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, radio-wave therapy, trigger-point injections, low-level laser therapy, and ultrasound. If all these treatments don't function, we may opt for surgery.
If you suffer from pain in the jaws, head, and neck, visit our offices for a temporomandibular disorder checkup. Our professionals have the experience and skills to diagnose and treat the disorder. For more information on how to get treated, call Smile Family Dentistry at 925-825-1130 today.