If you suffer from pain or discomfort in your jaw, you know how important it is to keep this important joint comfortable, healthy, and functional so you can enjoy your life to its fullest. Uncomfortable symptoms in your jaw, or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), can not only prevent you from talking, eating, and smiling with ease, but jaw problems can also impact your overall health and wellness in a variety of other ways:
- Migraine headaches.
- Chronic facial pain.
- Jaw tension.
- Teeth grinding.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a condition that can impact your jaw and the adjacent areas of your head, face, or mouth. At Advanced Dentistry by Design, we can provide relief for troublesome signs and symptoms and help prevent significant dental damage and other dysfunctions before they start.
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a disorder of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles characterized by pain, discomfort, or dysfunction. Misaligned or malfunctioning bones, joints, and muscles in this area can result in difficulties that adversely affect your jaw, mouth, teeth, head, neck, back, throat, and digestion. These misalignments have a variety of causes:
- Dental alignment issues.
- Muscle strain.
- Accidents or facial trauma.
- Normal wear and tear.
TMD is related to a few other serious conditions including mood disorders, sleep apnea, ADHD, depression, and anxiety. Advanced Dentistry by Design can help you and your loved ones overcome this painful condition.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of TMJ and TMD?
Though these terms are often used interchangeably, TMJ refers to the joint itself, while TMD is the group of disorders that cause many of these uncomfortable symptoms:
- Clicking or locking in the jaw.
- Restricted or painful jaw movement.
- Chronic headaches or muscular pain.
- Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.
- Worn teeth and bite problems.
- Tenderness in the face or neck.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- Ear pain or dizziness.
TMD can be difficult to diagnose, as the signs and symptoms may be the result of other health conditions and can look very different from patient to patient. If you experience any worrisome symptoms you suspect may be the result of TMD, our staff can help. Call our practice today to schedule an exam and discuss our treatment solutions.
San Jose, CA, TMD Treatment at Advanced Dentistry By Design
In some cases, TMD can be treated at home with everyday pain medications, stretching, or cool compresses to manage mild discomfort. However, many cases of this disorder cannot be managed at home and call for professional treatment options.
Bruxism, poor posture, and dental problems can all impact the likelihood that you will develop TMD and increase the severity of the disorder if left unchecked. Physical therapy treatments aim to improve and strengthen the structure of your jaw by using exercises and stretches to encourage healthy jaw function.
More than just a cosmetic treatment, Botox is also a popular and effective treatment for those who suffer from TMD. This treatment helps to soothe jaw tension and pain by relaxing myofascial muscles that contribute to painful or uncomfortable symptoms. The restriction of facial muscle function can counteract overactive jaw muscles and make it easier to speak and eat without significant irritation.
Custom Splints and Bite Guards
Often, TMD is the result of jaw instability or physical misalignment. Oral appliances can help patients with TMD ease their pain and provide support, stabilization, comfort, and repositioning to their jaws. Though many turn to over-the-counter mouth guards to address their symptoms, custom-fit orthotics can more effectively treat the core causes of the disorder and help the joint remain in place, relieving tension and reinforcing proper jaw alignment.
When symptoms are persistent and the jaw’s range of motion is limited, oral surgery is the best option. TMD may require surgical treatments if other treatments fail to provide relief or correct significant issues that contribute to the disorder. With surgical intervention, the temporomandibular joint can be permanently corrected and properly positioned.
Call Advanced Dentistry by Design Today to Get Your Life Back
The symptoms of TMD can interfere with your daily life in big, impactful ways. We want to help our patients overcome painful jaw conditions, and we can do so in a variety of ways. Call our practice to get started on a treatment plan today so you can find relief from jaw discomfort and pain.