Franklin dentists offer TMJ/TMD treatment options
Have you noticed a clicking sound when you yawn or open your mouth? Does it hurt when you chew? Does your jaw freeze or lock at times? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder, or TMD. Jaw joint pain can make normal actions such as eating and speaking uncomfortable. Thankfully, treatment is available. Patients in Franklin, OH and the surrounding areas have turned to K&E Advanced Dentistry for TMJ/TMD treatment.
TMJ and TMD explained
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the point where the jaw and temporal bones connect. This joint allows your jaw to move up and down and side to side allowing you to speak and eat. When problems occur with the joint, temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur. Problems are often mistakenly referred to as TMJ but that refers to the joint itself.
Although the exact cause is unknown, symptoms often arise from problems with the jaw muscles or the joint. Injuries or other conditions may lead to TMD. TMD may be caused by other conditions such as arthritis or bruxism. Patients with bruxism clench their jaw or grind their teeth. It is often a result of stress and is done while sleeping when the individual is unaware of the action. TMD may be caused by the following:
- Grinding the teeth
- Clenching the jaw
- Tightening the facial or jaw muscles
Symptoms of TMD
Jaw pain is one of many symptoms of TMD. TMD symptoms vary from patient to patient. Common signs that there is a problem with the joint may include:
- Ear pain
- A popping sound when you yawn or open your mouth widely
- Pain when yawning
- Discomfort when chewing
- Jaws that freeze up or lock
- Jaw tenderness
- A change in the way the teeth meet
Diagnosing your condition
Early diagnosis is important for any dental issue. When it comes to TMD, the earlier you get treatment, the sooner you ease your own pain and discomfort, so you can resume eating and speaking comfortably. At K&E Advanced Dentistry, we thoroughly evaluate your teeth, bite, and symptoms to diagnose your condition. We use advanced diagnostic technology to examine the jaw joints. The diagnostic test is quick and painless.
The system utilizes the principles of friction and motion. Smooth surfaces rub together creating little friction. Surfaces that are rough or poorly lubricated have greater friction and vibration. The temporomandibular joint has naturally smooth, well-lubricated surfaces. Little vibration is created. The joint works smoothly and comfortably. Over time, or when trauma occurs, degeneration, cartilage tears, or displacement can increase friction and vibration. Using the joint vibration analysis system from BioJVA, we can determine the level of jaw dysfunction.
Once a diagnosis has been made, our dentists work with you to create a customized treatment plan. Plans are designed to relieve stress on the temporomandibular joint. Your personal plan may include a combination of the following treatments:
- Wearing a mouth guard while sleeping
- Cold compresses
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling or pain
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Relaxation techniques
The goal of treatment is to balance the bite and to reduce stress on the jaw. Wearing a mouth guard at night protects the teeth. You are unable to clench or grind the teeth, which reduces jaw strain. By wearing the bite guard at night, the appliance keeps patients from grinding their teeth when they may not be aware they are doing it.
Biofeedback is an important part of TMD treatment. This therapy makes patients aware of excessive or inappropriate muscle activity. Proper TMJ functioning is taught as patients develop muscle relaxation skills. These relaxation skills replace the inappropriate activities to reduce muscle tightness and contraction.
Cold compresses, anti-inflammatory medications, and prescription medications help relieve your pain and discomfort. Physical therapy or relaxation methods such as yoga or massage can help your joints relax and function properly.
A combination of therapies may be recommended to give you optimal results and relief. Stop living with jaw paint. If you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, seek dental help. Contact K&E Advanced Dentistry for an appointment. Call (855) 912-7677.
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