REMEDIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE DEALING WITH TMD
Every day you use your jaw several times. For this reason, discomfort in your jaw can be a significant problem. In this article, we analyze the condition known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which contributes to pain in your jawbone. For men and women in Humble, TX who have TMD, there are several modern treatments that can help diminish your symptoms and identify the root cause. If you have persistent pain in your jaw, as well as trouble opening and closing your mouth, contact Park Lakes Dental Care to schedule an extensive oral health examination with our team of skilled dental professionals. Let's start by learning more about TMD and TMJ…
CONTRASTS BETWEEN TMJ AND TMD
The initials used in the article are similar, so it can get confusing. Let's take a minute to talk about the meaning of TMJ and TMD. Also known as TMJ for short, the temporomandibular joints are the two sliding hinge joints integrating your mandible (jawbone) to the rest of your skull. When one or both of these joints become swollen or cause pain, it is identified as a temporomandibular joint disorder, otherwise known as TMD. To recap, TMJ is your jaw joint, and TMD is an issue with your TMJ.
SIDE EFFECTS OF TMD
Symptoms of TMD can range from moderate discomfort to severe pain. If you recognize indications of TMD and discuss them with your dentist, your treatment process may be less invasive. If you experience any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your skilled dentist in Humble, TX as soon as possible:
- DIFFICULTY WHEN OPENING OR CLOSING YOUR MOUTH
As TMD progresses, it may feel like your jaw is stuck and will not freely open or close. At this point, it's crucial to schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist to receive treatment.
- PAIN IN YOUR TMJ OR EARS
The temporomandibular joint is located right next to your ear, so when you have TMD, it may result in pain in and around your ears.
- TROUBLE WITH CHEWING OR SPEAKING
If it is difficult or painful for you to chew or speak, you may have TMD. This may get gradually worse with time, so you should speak to your dentist as soon as possible.
- TENDER, SWOLLEN JAW
When you feel along your jawbone, it may feel swollen or sore if you have TMD. This may make it hard to eat or speak.
- NOISES WHEN YOUR JAW MOVES
Among pain and issues when moving your jaw, you may hear a clicking or popping noise when you open or close your mouth.
CAUSES OF TMD
The cause of TMD ranges from patient to patient, as there are several reasons why TMD may develop. One of the most frequent is arthritis in or trauma to your jawbone. A misaligned bite, known as malocclusion, may also be to blame. When biting down normally, the teeth should come together and rest evenly, so the mouth can close adequately. High spots on your natural teeth or a dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture can inhibit this and negatively impact how your jaw functions. Bruxism, an issue characterized as clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth either during the day or at night (nocturnal bruxism), can lead to inflammation due to overworking the jaw muscles, leading to TMD. It may surprise some patients in Humble, TX to discover that even excessive gum chewing can stimulate a flare-up of TMD.
Even though there is no standardized test available to diagnose TMD, the dental professionals at Park Lakes Dental Care will perform an extensive oral health examination on patients who have jaw pain. Most often, oral exams include an assessment of jaw movement to look for any evidence of jaw clenching, misalignment, grinding, tenderness, or inflammation. Imaging, such as full-mouth digital x-rays, might also help your dentist to properly diagnose TMD and help them to formulate the appropriate course of treatment.
Your treatment plan for your TMD symptoms will be customized based on the cause of the condition and the amount of your pain. Your dentist will accurately diagnose your TMD before recommending a treatment plan. This may include one or more professional treatments for long-term enhancements, as well as recommendations for home remedies that will offer faster, short-term relief from your TMD symptoms.
- CHECK YOUR POSTURE
Another remedy for relieving TMD pain involves creating simple improvements to your posture. For example, abstain from resting your chin on your hand as this position puts extra pressure on the jawbone. Also, try sitting with your back pressed among a chair back to keep from slouching. It may help to alleviate stress levels overall by practicing a number of relaxation and meditation techniques, including breathing exercises.
- AN ORTHODONTIC REMEDY
Misalignment, also known as dental malocclusion, can put stress on your jaw joints causing TMD. To alleviate the pressure on your jaw and provide you with a straighter smile, your skilled dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment. Depending on your needs and goals, this may consist of traditional metal braces or the even more contemporary option, Invisalign. Using clear, removable aligners, the innovative Invisalign system gently moves your teeth into their proper position without the drawbacks of metal braces. To learn more about Invisalign, make an appointment with the dental professionals at our Humble, TX facility.
- NIGHT GUARD
Several people have nocturnal bruxism, a condition that means they clench their jaw and grind their teeth at night. This can result in inflammation and pain in your TMJ. A custom night guard made by your dentist can help maintain your jaw in the correct position while you sleep and protect your teeth against the wear of grinding.
- HOME REMEDIES
Individuals can do various things on their own to help treat TMJ pain and symptoms. When it comes to diet, adding soft foods that are easy to chew will decrease wear and tear on the jaw. Heat and ice packs applied to the jaw area may alleviate discomfort, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, including Advil. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, as well as muscle relaxants if your TMJ are stuck or you are clenching your jaw during the day due to stress and anxiety.
DIMINISH YOUR TMJ PAIN
Patients in Humble, TX who have jaw pain or other side effects of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), we invite you to contact your dentist to make an oral health examination and consultation. At Park Lakes Dental Care in Humble, TX we offer a diagnosis of TMD, as well as numerous treatment options. Our team of dental professionals work to help every patient improve their oral health so they can have a bright, healthy smile they can show off without pain.