Your jaw plays an important role not only in your ability to speak, sing, laugh, chew, and smile, but it’s also a considerable component of your overall health. If you’ve ever experienced discomfort, pain, or tenderness in your jaw, you know how important the health and well-being of this joint can be—especially if these symptoms prevent you from enjoying the things you love most.
Silverdale Dental Center Offers Comprehensive TMJ Treatment for Improved Oral and Overall Health
Have you ever woken up with pain in your jaw or with a migraine? It may be caused by clenching and grinding your teeth at night. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can lead to damaged teeth and the need for dental restorations. It can also result in chronic jaw pain, headaches, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, also known as TMD.
Fortunately, TMD sufferers can find relief at Silverdale Dental Center. We have a variety of solutions to reduce your symptoms, whether mild or severe. Schedule a consultation to find out how our treatment for TMJ can help you!
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint disorder is characterized by pain, discomfort, or dysfunction in the jaw joint (the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ) and the surrounding muscles. When the bones, joints, and muscles in this area are misaligned or fail to work and cooperate together to perform certain functions, it can result in various problems. This can negatively affect your jaw, mouth, teeth, head, neck, back, throat, and even digestion.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder affects the jaw joint, which is responsible for a wide range of movements from chewing to yawning. Roughly 5–12 percent of the population will experience TMJ disorder! Though the cause is not always known, common contributors to the disorder include:
- Injury or trauma
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Joint displacement
- Dental misalignment
The causes of TMD range from behavioral, mental, environmental, medical, and anatomical; the causes may also overlap with other health conditions such as chronic pain and fatigue disorders.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of TMJ and TMD?
Because it is a grouping of over 30 related conditions, the symptoms can appear differently in each person. Some of the most typical signs and symptoms include:
- Chronic headaches and jaw pain
- Locking, clicking or popping of the jaw joint
- Restricted jaw movement
- Ear pain and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Dizziness or numbness
- Teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism)
- Pain and soreness in the muscles of the face or neck
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Worn-down teeth or asymmetrical bite
In order to diagnose TMD, your provider will conduct a physical exam and health history. This will help see all the affected areas of your TMJ pain and can help rule out other health conditions that may be the cause of these symptoms.
Restore Your Comfort and Health With Treatment for TMJ and Bruxism
Caring for mild jaw pain may be as simple as applying warm compresses and implementing a temporary soft food diet. Anti-inflammatory medications can also be helpful—but when your symptoms are more severe and lasting, you may require further treatment for your symptoms.
TMJ disorders can both result in or be caused by a range of physical issues, including poor posture, chronic teeth grinding, and dental misalignment. Physical therapy can help people with TMD to reduce their symptoms and strengthen the jaw structure to prevent future discomfort.
Custom Splints and Bite Guards
From over-the-counter mouth guards to custom-fit orthotics, patients with TMD benefit from oral appliances. These devices rest in the mouth to support, stabilize, relax and reposition the jaw. They are helpful to address the root causes of symptoms, such as bruxism, improper jaw position, and neuromuscular tension.
In severe cases of TMJ disorder, or if other treatments prove ineffective, surgical solutions can provide relief and correct significant issues that contribute to TMD. Oral surgery is ideal for people whose symptoms are consistent and demonstrate considerable limitations in their range of motion. These procedures can correct structural problems in the temporomandibular joint and restore or establish a proper position.
Occlusal Adjustment for an Aligned Bite
When your teeth do not fit together properly, it can often be a result of a new restoration, like a filling or crown. Bite imbalances can have an impact on your jaw structure, which may result in the development of TMJ disorders. Our doctors find the point of contact that is causing your misaligned bite and make an adjustment to allow your teeth to rest comfortably together.
Call Silverdale Dental Center to Get Your Life Back
If the symptoms of TMD interfere with your life on a daily basis, call Silverdale Dental Center to get started with a solution for you.