What Is TMJD?
.On either side of your face there is a joint that connects your mandible — or jawbone — to your temple. This is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
This very small joint is responsible for a lot of work. It controls the movement of your mouth while biting, chewing, and speaking, as well as while making many facial expressions. For this reason, it is very susceptible to stress. Extended periods of stress can lead to damage or injury.
When the TMJ is experiencing such damage or has been injured in some way, this is called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).
What Are the Symptoms of TMJD?
The causes of TMJDs can be anything from sporting injuries and car accidents to jaw misalignment. Arthritis, cartilage loss, and bruxism can all be culprits.
Although the causes of TMJDs are varied and often unique, several of the symptoms are common to all manner of cases. These can include:
- Pain while chewing.
- Pain or tenderness in the muscles around the jaw.
- Pain or soreness directly in one or both of the TMJs.
- Tension surrounding the ears.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Popping or clicking when moving your jaw.
- Locking of the joint.
- Headaches or migraines.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms but haven’t been able to place the cause, it is possible that a TMJD is responsible.
Treatments for TMJD, Headaches, and Orofacial Pain
TMJ headaches and orofacial pain can seem like minor annoyances, compared to many other facial problems. But remember: just because you can handle the pain doesn’t mean you should have to.
Create a Smile Dentistry offers a number of excellent treatments that are designed to not only relieve the pain of a TMJ headache, but to also actually allow the TMJ to heal.
Botox| Botox is a protein that influences a muscle’s ability to tense up. When injected into the area around the TMJ, it will block the transmitters that run between the muscles and the active nerves. This reduces tension and gives the TMJ a little bit of a break. This is a great way to find TMJ headache relief that lasts!
Oral Appliances| Oral appliances are great for TMJDs that stem specifically from the misalignment of the jaw. When using an oral appliance, the jaw is held where the joint would like it to be. An appliance will also keep the joint from being used too much. Just as with the Botox treatment, this gives the TMJ a small vacation, and therefore it has time to heal.
Mouth Guard For Teeth Grinding| Bruxism is the chronic grinding or clenching of teeth. It is a major cause of both tooth damage and TMJ tension. Fortunately, wearing a mouth guard for teeth grinding is a great way to help to save you from both.
Talk to Create a Smile Dentistry About TMJD
If you suspect that you have a TMJD, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. From Botox to a mouth guard for teeth grinding, we’d love to discuss your many treatment options and work toward getting you healthy again.