TREATMENTS ARE ACCESSIBLE FOR THOSE STRUGGLING WITH TMD
Each day you utilize your jaw many times. Because of this reason, pain in your jaw may be a significant issue. Throughout this article, we explore the condition known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which leads to pain in your jaw. For individuals in Pewaukee, WI who have TMD, there are many innovative treatments that can help manage your symptoms and address the root cause. If you experience chronic pain in your jaw, as well as difficulties opening and closing your mouth, call DentalWorks - Pewaukee to arrange a comprehensive oral health examination with our team of experienced dental professionals. Let's start by finding out more about TMD and TMJ…
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TMJ AND TMD
The initials utilized in the article are similar, therefore, it can get difficult to understand. Let's take a minute to discuss the definition of TMJ and TMD. Abbreviated as TMJ for short, the temporomandibular joints exist as the two sliding hinge joints connecting your mandible (jawbone) to the other parts of your skull. When one or both of these joints become inflamed or cause pain, it is classified as a temporomandibular joint disorder, otherwise known as TMD. In short, TMJ is your jaw joint, and TMD is a problem with your TMJ.
SYMPTOMS OF TMD
side effects of TMD may range from mild discomfort to significant pain. If you notice symptoms of TMD and talk about them with your dentist, your treatment process could be less invasive. If you notice any of the following issues, schedule an appointment with your experienced dentist in Pewaukee, WI as soon as possible:
- SORE, INFLAMED JAW
When you feel along your jaw, it may feel puffy or tender if you have TMD. This can make it difficult to eat or speak.
- SOUNDS WHEN YOUR JAW MOVES
In addition to pain and difficulty when moving your jaw, you might hear a clicking or popping noise as you open or close your mouth.
- DIFFICULTY WITH CHEWING OR SPEAKING
If it is hard or painful for you to chew or speak, you could have TMD. This can get progressively worse with time; therefore, you should talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
- SORENESS IN YOUR TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINTS OR EARS
The temporomandibular joint is positioned right near your ear, therefore, when you have TMD, it could cause discomfort in and around your ears.
- TROUBLE WHEN OPENING OR CLOSING YOUR MOUTH
As TMD develops, it may feel like your jaw is stiff and will not easily open or close. At this point, it's important to make an emergency appointment with your dental professional to get treatment.
SOURCES OF TMD
The reason for TMD varies from patient to patient, because there are many reasons why TMD can develop. One of the most common is arthritis in or an injury to your jawbone. A misaligned bite, referred to as malocclusion, might also be a cause. When biting down properly, the teeth should meet together and rest in alignment, so the mouth can close comfortably. High spots on your natural teeth or a dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture may prevent this and negatively affect how your jaw operates. Bruxism, a condition identified as clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth either throughout the day or at night (nocturnal bruxism), could cause inflammation due to overusing the jaw muscles, causing TMD. It can surprise some people in Pewaukee, WI to learn that even excessive gum chewing can cause a flare-up of TMD.
Although there is no consistent test available to detect TMD, the dental professionals at DentalWorks - Pewaukee will provide a comprehensive oral health evaluation on patients who complain of jaw discomfort. Typically, oral exams consist of an evaluation of jaw movement in order to identify any signs of jaw clenching, misalignment, grinding, soreness, or inflammation. Imaging, including full-mouth digital x-rays, may also help your dentist to accurately identify TMD and help them to determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment for your TMD symptoms will be personalized based on the reason for the condition and the level of your pain. Your dentist will carefully diagnose your TMD before suggesting a treatment plan. This could include one or several professional treatments for lasting improvements, along with recommendations for home methods that can provide faster, short-term alleviation from your TMD complications.
- NIGHT GUARD
Many people have nocturnal bruxism, a condition that means they tighten their jaw and grind their teeth at night. This may lead to inflammation and discomfort in your jaw joints. A personalized night guard created by your dentist may help keep your jaw in the proper position while you sleep and defend your teeth against the effects of grinding.
- HOME THERAPIES
Patients can do numerous things at home to help alleviate TMJ discomfort and symptoms. When it comes to diet, consuming soft foods that are easy to chew can lessen wear and tear on the jaw. Heat and ice packs placed on the jaw area can ease discomfort, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, including Advil. In some cases, your dentist might prescribe anti-anxiety medications and muscle relaxants if your jaw joints are locked up or you are clenching your jaw throughout the day from stress and anxiety.
- EVALUATE YOUR POSTURE
Another method for alleviating TMD pain includes making simple enhancements to your posture. For example, refrain from resting your chin on your hand since this position places extra pressure on the jaw. Additionally, try sitting with your back pressed against a chair back to prevent slouching. It might help to reduce stress levels overall by practicing a combination of relaxation and meditation methods, including breathing exercises.
- AN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Misalignment, commonly known as dental malocclusion, may put stress on your TMJ leading to TMD. To relieve the pressure on your jaw joints and give you a more even smile, your experienced dentist might recommend orthodontic treatment. Depending on your needs and goals, this could include traditional metal braces or the even more modern option, Invisalign. Using invisible, removable aligners, the state-of-the-art Invisalign system gently shifts your teeth into their appropriate position without the hindrances of metal braces. To discover more about Invisalign, schedule an appointment with the dental professionals at our Pewaukee, WI office.
DECREASE YOUR TMJ PAIN
Individuals in Pewaukee, WI who notice jaw pain or other symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), we encourage you to contact your dentist to schedule an oral health examination and consultation. At DentalWorks - Pewaukee in Pewaukee, WI we provide a diagnosis of TMD, as well as several treatment options. Our team of dental professionals strive to help every patient enhance their oral health so they can have a comfortable, restored smile they can show off without pain.