Do you frequently experience sore facial muscles? Does your jaw click and pop when you move it? Do you ever wake up with a headache or earache? If so, you may require TMJ treatment.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction causes jaw pain and difficulty when using your mouth. Symptoms can become so severe that they may prevent you from chewing or speaking properly.
You shouldn’t have to deal with pain on a regular basis. To alleviate the discomfort caused by TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), Dental U Clinic offers treatments in Edmonton. With our services, you can increase the mobility of your jaw and reduce pain.
What Is TMD?
Your jaw connects to your skull via the temporomandibular joint. These two joints are complex and may cause discomfort if something is wrong. A group of conditions known as temporomandibular disorders create pain and reduced mobility when opening or closing the mouth.
Concerned that you might have TMD? A thorough exam of your jaw and surrounding muscles must be done to diagnose TMD. This exam will provide valuable information by assessing your range of motion and bite. Diagnostic imaging may be recommended to confirm the disorder.
When a dentist diagnoses you with TMD, you can begin to seek treatments that reduce your symptoms.
Causes of TMJ
It’s difficult to determine one cause behind this condition; oftentimes, a mix of factors leads to its development. Accidents, trauma, clenching, and grinding can contribute to this disorder. We can treat patients with TMJ disorder to help restore comfort, health, and function.
Here are some of the most common reasons why a person develops temporomandibular issues:
- Trauma. TMD often stems from a traumatic event, such as an automobile accident or sports injury. Damage to the jaw may cause the dislocation or misalignment of the temporomandibular joint.
- Stress. Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed, you tend to clench your muscles? If you consistently hold tension in your jaw, it can contribute to the development of TMD. Upsetting life events, anxiety, or other health issues may make stress-induced jaw pain worse.
- Bruxism. This condition causes patients to unconsciously grind or clench their teeth. Repeatedly using the jaw muscles causes strain and discomfort. While TMD is not caused by bruxism, symptoms of it are aggravated when patients grind or clench their jaws.
- Genetics. Those with a family history of TMD may be more prone to developing this condition. On average, more women are diagnosed with this condition than men.
If you suspect you may have an issue with your jaw joint, watch for these telltale TMD symptoms:
- Clicking, popping, grinding, and pain in your jaw joints
- Clenching and grinding your teeth
- Teeth not coming together properly
- Facial pain and swelling
- Locking of your jaw joint
- Headaches, neck aches, and shoulder pain
- Limited range of motion
- Numbness or tingling
- Ringing in the ears and earaches
- Abfractions (notching of teeth near the gumline)
A combination of these symptoms often indicates that a patient is dealing with TMD. What can you do to reduce these side effects?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for temporomandibular disorders. However, TMD treatment can reduce pain and increase your quality of life. Treatment is usually non-invasive and therapeutic.
There are several treatment options that can alleviate your symptoms. Here are a few of the most common ones:
An occlusal guard (splint) can be used to help reduce the symptoms of TMJ. Occlusal guards also protect your teeth from damage. This splint will provide a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. We design customized occlusal guards that help your jaw remain in a comfortable position while you sleep, or during stressful situations.
For some patients, regularly exercising the jaw muscles provides tension relief. You can learn stretches that work to relax your temporomandibular joint and reduce pain. While they may not provide immediate relief, regularly practicing these exercises can make a difference over time.
A muscle relaxant can help you release tension from your jaw, which will prevent the increasing of TMD symptoms. You can also try an anti-inflammatory drug to alleviate a headache or sore muscles. While these are only temporary fixes, they can provide relief when you’re in pain.
Medication and behaviour modification can contribute to the success of your TMD treatment. Stress management and relaxation techniques may also be suggested. Given that stress is a leading cause of TMD, strategies that help patients cope with stress can be highly effective.
In extreme cases, a patient’s condition may be resistant to most treatment options. Surgery might be required if other efforts fail to alleviate pain or reduced mobility of the jaw joint. For some, orthodontic devices can be used to correct a misaligned bite.
Book an Appointment Today
Untreated temporomandibular conditions can lead to severe pain that interferes with your daily life. If you’re concerned that you may have TMD, contact UDental. At our dental clinic, we offer TMD treatment in Edmonton.
We can help you manage the jaw pain that results from this disorder and prevent damage to your teeth. Based on your experiences and history with TMD, we can design a treatment plan that addresses your concerns. Interested in booking an appointment? Call today!