THERAPY IS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE DEALING WITH TMD
During a day you use your jaw multiple times. For this reason, tenderness in your jaw can be a significant worry. In this article, we look into the condition known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which generates pain in your jawbone. For men and women in Forest Park, IL who have TMD, there are multiple modern treatments that can help ease your symptoms and detect the root cause. If you have prolonged pain in your jaw, as well as trouble opening and closing your mouth, contact DentalWorks - Forest Park to schedule oral health examination with our team of dental professionals. Let's start by learning more about TMD and TMJ…
VARIATIONS BETWEEN TMJ AND TMD
The initials used in the article are similar, so it can get confusing. Let's take a minute to determine the meaning of TMJ and TMD. Identified as TMJ for short, the temporomandibular joints are the two sliding hinge joints attaching your mandible (jawbone) to the rest of your skull. When one or both of these joints become tender or cause pain, it is diagnosed as a temporomandibular joint disorder, otherwise known as TMD. To recap, TMJ is your jaw joint, and TMD is a complication with your TMJ.
EVIDENCE OF TMD
Symptoms of TMD can range from bearable discomfort to severe pain. If you recognize evidence of TMD and discuss them with your dentist, your treatment process may be less invasive. If you have any of the following symptoms, reserve an appointment with your skilled dentist in Forest Park, IL as soon as possible:
- COMPLICATIONS WHEN OPENING OR CLOSING YOUR MOUTH
As TMD progresses, it may feel like your jaw is tight and will not effortlessly open or close. At this point, it's recommended to schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist for treatment.
- TENDER, SWOLLEN JAW
When you feel along your jawbone, it may feel enlarged or sore if you have TMD. This may make it challenging to eat or speak.
- RESTRICTIONS WITH CHEWING OR SPEAKING
If it is difficult or painful for you to chew or speak, you may have TMD. This may get consistently worse with time, so you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
- NOISES WHEN YOUR JAW MOVES
As well as pain and complications when moving your jaw, you may hear a clicking or popping noise when you open or close your mouth.
- PAIN IN YOUR TMJ OR EARS
The temporomandibular joint is located right beside your ear, so when you have TMD, it may initiate pain in and around your ears.
CAUSES OF TMD
The cause of TMD differs from patient to patient, as there are a variety of reasons why TMD may develop. One of the most typical 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 accurately. High spots on your natural teeth or a dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture can restrict this and negatively impact how your jaw functions. Bruxism, characterized as clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth either during the day or at night (nocturnal bruxism), can bring about inflammation due to overworking the jaw muscles, leading to TMD. It may surprise some patients in Forest Park, IL to hear that even excessive gum chewing can bring about a flare-up of TMD.
While there is no standardized test available to diagnose TMD, the dental professionals at DentalWorks - Forest Park will perform oral health examination on patients who exhibit jaw pain. Generally, oral exams include an assessment of jaw movement to discover any evidence of jaw clenching, misalignment, grinding, tenderness, or inflammation. Imaging, such as full-mouth digital x-rays, will also help your dentist to properly diagnose TMD and help them to establish the appropriate course of treatment.
The treatment process for your TMD symptoms will be customized based on the cause of the condition and the amount of your pain. Your dentist will diagnose your TMD before determining a treatment plan. This may include one or more professional treatments for long-term relief, as well as recommendations for home remedies that will grant faster, short-term relief from your TMD symptoms.
- AN ORTHODONTIC THERAPY
Misalignment, also known as dental malocclusion, can put stress on your jaw joints creating TMD. To ease the pressure on your jaw and allow for a straighter smile, your skilled dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment. Depending on your needs and goals, this may involve traditional metal braces or the even more discreet option, Invisalign. Using clear, removable aligners, the Invisalign system gently moves your teeth into their proper position without the drawbacks of metal braces. To learn more about Invisalign, contact us for an appointment with the dental professionals at our Forest Park, IL facility.
- NIGHT GUARD
A great deal of people have nocturnal bruxism, a condition that means they clench their jaw and grind their teeth at night. This can create inflammation and pain in your TMJ. A custom night guard made by your dentist can help place your jaw in the correct position while you sleep and protect your teeth against the wear of grinding.
- HOME REMEDIES
Those with TMD can do various things on their own to help reduce TMJ pain and symptoms. When it comes to diet, adding soft foods that are easy to chew will diminish wear and tear on the jaw. Heat and ice packs applied to the jaw area may lessen 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 tightened or you are clenching your jaw during the day as a result of stress and anxiety.
- CHECK YOUR POSTURE
Another way for relieving TMD pain involves generating simple improvements to your posture. For example, resist resting your chin on your hand as this position puts extra pressure on the jawbone. Also, try sitting with your back pressed upon a chair back to prohibit slouching. It may help to lessen stress levels overall by practicing several relaxation and meditation techniques, including breathing exercises.
EASE YOUR TMJ PAIN
Patients in Forest Park, IL who have jaw pain or other complications of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), we invite you to contact your dentist to create an oral health examination and consultation. At DentalWorks - Forest Park in Forest Park, IL we offer a diagnosis of TMD, as well as optimal treatment options. Our team of dental professionals desire to help every patient improve their oral health so they can have a bright, healthy smile they can show off without pain.