TMJD stands for Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, or maybe you’ve noticed its symptoms. TMJD is not rare. Over 60 million Americans complain about the problem. If your jaws lock, if you hear a clicking or grating noise coming from your jaws when eating or if you are sore or experiencing tension headaches, you could have TMJD, and this segment will be of special interest to you. When a TMJ dysfunction occurs, the muscles, joints and bones of the jaw are not working in harmony.
While TMJD can be difficult to diagnose it is important to do so. Common complaints include: constant or occasional pain in the jaw muscles or face, jaws that lock, earache, headache, or a clicking or grating sound while eating. These symptoms are often confused with symptoms of other diseases. But whether you have constant or occasional pain, damage is occurring. The longer the pain continues, the more complicated the treatment might be.
While TMJD can have several causes, the main ones are an improper bite or grinding your teeth. Treatment for the dysfunction can vary from simple exercises, to bite guards, to surgery. There are many treatment options depending on the specific situation. The good news is that the treatment for temporomandibular joint dysfunction is usually successful, and the results are excellent. We’ll consult with you, and explore treatment options to treat the symptoms of your problem.
Early treatment is very important and cannot be overstated. TMJ problems can advance in stages and grow progressively worse. Thus, a minor problem now could become a major source of pain in the future. Additionally, chances of successful therapy increase substantially the earlier treatment is accomplished.
After diagnosing the problem, a variety of treatments may be recommended depending on the extent of correction needed. Initial phases of treatment are aimed to eliminate the TMJ pain resulting from the actual problem. In the second stage, the actual treatment to correct the problem is implemented.
Medicines/Muscle Stimulation/Ultrasound - These may be prescribed to alleviate the pain before and during the actual treatment.
Trigger Point Injections - This is the injection of anesthetic into muscle to eliminate muscle spasm.
Splint/Jaw Repositioner Appliances - This is a mouth appliance that is custom made to fit between the patient's upper and lower teeth. It is not only used in diagnosis, but they are also used as treatment to temporarily eliminate the bite disharmony and resulting pain. Then once we have achieved a state of muscle relaxation and an acceptable level of patient comfort then we can determine which forms of permanent treatment are necessary to maintain long term comfort.
Occlusal Equilibration - The tops of the teeth are reshaped in this procedure. This is done to alleviate pressure on individual teeth. The reshaping procedure has been found to be the solution for many conditions which cause discomfort in the head, neck, and shoulders and the breakdown of dental structures. This can be likened to a pebble in your shoe and your foot adapts to that pebble and you may limp. As with a tooth too high for comfort, the jaw also adapts to the uncomfortable tooth fit but develops muscle pain. During equilibration the high tooth is reshaped for a better fit and resulting muscle relaxation.
Occlusal Restorations - This involves the placement or construction of teeth by means of crowns, bridges, implants, inlays, onlays, partial dentures or just routine restorations to build the bite to a more permanent, healthy, relationship.
Biofeedback - This is the technique of learning to relax the jaw muscles on demand, especially in times of greater stress.
© Kalant & Associates - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery - Licensed Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon in the State of Illinois
Procedures: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery - Removal of Teeth - Bone Grafting & Regeneration - Dental Implants - TMJ - Orthognathic Surgery - Facial Trauma - Anesthesia
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