Oral Health

TMJ/TMD Treatment

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Possible causes of temporomandibular joint disorder are:

  • Injury to the jaw, the joint or muscles of the head and neck, such as from a heavy blow or whiplash
  • dislocation of upper and lower jaws during growth and development due to mouth breathing/allergies
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Dislocation of the ball and socket
  • Arthritis in the TMJ
  • Stress

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears (tendinitis)
  • Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew or speak
  • Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
  • Jaws that get "stuck" or "locked" in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew
  • A tired feeling in your face
  • Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite, as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of your face

Treatment Options for TMD/TMJ:

  • Medications. Your dentist can prescribe higher doses of anti-inflammatories if you need them for pain and swelling. He might suggest a muscle relaxer to relax your jaw if you grind or clench your teeth. Or an anti-anxiety medication to relieve stress, which may bring on TMD. In low doses, they can also help reduce or control pain.
  • A splint or night guard. These plastic mouthpieces fit over your upper and/or lower teeth so they don’t touch. They lessen the effects of clenching or grinding and correct your bite by putting your teeth in a more correct position. What’s the difference between them? You wear night guards while you sleep. You use a splint all the time. Your dentist will tell you which type you need.
  • Dental work. Your dentist can replace missing teeth and use crowns, bridges or braces to balance the biting surfaces of your teeth or to correct a bite problem.

Talk to your dentist about these treatments for TMD and which are right for you. Schedule a consultation at Willow Knolls Family Dental; call us at 309-691-9072.