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Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
The temporomandibular joint is the jaw joint responsible for allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew, and yawn. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) affect the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. When the TMJ is not functioning correctly, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, including jaw pain, neck and facial pain, difficulty chewing and speaking, and a clicking or popping sound when moving the jaw.
If you’re experiencing TMJ pain, you need to work with a dentist trained in treating TMD to ensure that you receive the best possible care. At Lenderman & Meek Dental, our team of experts will work with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan that may include a combination of self-care measures, medication, therapy, and surgery, depending on your specific needs.
Overall, the goal of TMJ/TMD treatment is to relieve pain and discomfort, improve the function of jaw muscles, and prevent further damage to the jaw joints. With the proper treatment, most people with TMD can expect significant improvement in their symptoms and an enhanced quality of life.
Treatment for temporomandibular disorders varies depending on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. In some cases, simple self-care measures such as eating soft foods and avoiding jaw-clenching can help to relieve TMJ symptoms. Some standard treatment options include:
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and discomfort associated with TMD. Muscle relaxants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are other potential options to help reduce tension in the facial muscles.
Surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the affected joint if severe pain persists. However, this can be a complex and invasive procedure and should only be considered as a last resort.
Physical therapy is another non-invasive, easy method for improving joint function and flexibility. Your dentist will teach you various exercises and stretches to help improve the function of your temporomandibular joints to reduce pain and stiffness.
Mouthguard or Bite Splint
If self-care measures are ineffective, your dentist may recommend more intensive treatment options. Mouthguards or bite splints can help to reposition the jaw and relieve pressure on the affected joint. A mouthguard or bite splint is a custom-fitted appliance worn over the teeth to help correct any jaw misalignment and realign your upper and lower teeth. This can help to reduce teeth grinding and unnecessary stress on the TMJ, preventing further damage.
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At all ages and stages in life, we care about each and every patient that visits us. From beginning to end, your appointment will be about you and how we can help relieve your TMD symptoms so you can achieve and maintain the healthiest, happiest smile.
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