What is TMD?
TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a condition that affects the TMJ. Your TMJ acts as a sliding hinge that connects the jaw bone to the skull. When this joint begins to develop problems, it can cause pain, discomfort, and dysfunction of your jaw. You may find it difficult to open your mouth fully, and may find yourself in pain daily.
Why is treatment for TMD needed?
If TMD treatment is not provided, the problem can get worse and cause severe pain and discomfort. Likewise, early treatment can help to prevent TMD from worsening, causing the need for surgery and other more invasive treatment options. Treatment of TMD is specific to each individual patient, and can be helpful in reducing inflammation, tenderness, and pain.
How can you tell if you have TMD?
With the help of an exam, as well as imaging, we can determine if you are experiencing TMD. A treatment plan can be made just for you to ensure you receive the best treatment available. Some of the most common signs of TMD include:
- Difficulty opening your mouth fully
- A sore, tender jaw
- Jaw pain and discomfort
- Cracking or clicking of the jaw
- Inflammation and swelling of the TMJ area
What can be expected with treatment for TMD?
TMD can be treated in a variety of different ways, and is specific to the patient who is experiencing the problem. For example, if TMD is being caused by nighttime grinding, a night guard can be worn to alleviate pressure on the joint. In other cases, medications, oral guards, and physical therapy can greatly help in relieving TMD. You may even benefit from injections or surgery that can put a stop to the pain and allow you to regain full control over your jaw’s functioning. Treatment begins with a consultation, exam, and imaging to help us determine the severity of the TMD and the best type of treatment for you.
If you have TMD, or would like to know more about treatment options, call us today and we’ll work to get you in for an appointment in our office.