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31Jul2013

We Can Help Relieve TMD Pain

IF YOU’VE BEEN EXPERIENCING regular headaches, neck and shoulder pain, or persistent ringing in your ears, we may be able to help. These are common symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

TMJ Problems Can Lead To TMD

Complex joints called temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your jaw to your skull. Properly aligned, these joints make it possible for us to chew, swallow, and talk. If these joints are out of alignment or not synchronized with your jaw, it can lead to serious, often painful, issues.

Problems with your TMJ, jaw, and surrounding facial muscles can lead to temporomandibular disorders (TMD). These problems can be caused by undue strain on your TMJ and jaw (often a result of teeth grinding, trauma, or stress).

Some TMD Symptoms Include:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw, face, neck, shoulder, and back pain/soreness
  • Earaches or ringing in ears
  • Limited jaw movement, locking of the jaw
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds with jaw movement
  • Teeth grinding
  • Difficulty chewing or an uncomfortable bite
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Dizziness

We Do A Thorough Examination To Diagnose TMD

We evaluate each joint and the surrounding muscles. Measurements are taken to determine your range of motion and any restricting factors. A panoramic x-ray is taken that gives us an image of each joint and allows us to evaluate the position and health of the bones involved. Sometimes a mini CT scan is necessary to further evaluate the joint. These parameters help us know if it’s a joint issue, muscle issue, teeth issue or a combination.

Ear Problems? Your TMJ May Be To Blame

We’ve Had Success Treating TMD

Becky came to our office over a year ago complaining of severe TMJ pain, frequent locking open of her jaw, inability to chew well, and severe and daily headaches. After diagnosing her issues, we started therapy with a splint which helped all symptoms subside over a few months. While not all cases require surgery or orthodontics, they did for her to provide long-term relief. She’s now symptom free and loving her smile!

Various Treatment Options

Various effective treatments can range from simple to more involved, including:

  • Ice and hot packs
  • Relaxation techniques/stress management
  • Diet changes
  • Posture training
  • Physical therapy
  • An appliance or mouthguard worn to stop teeth clenching
  • Medication
  • Surgery

Typically, TMJ problems are temporary and not serious. Even so, the best way to avoid complications is to visit with us at the first signs of concern. The sooner you start appropriate treatment, the sooner you’ll find relief. Call us today!

Thank you for trusting us with your oral health!

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