Have you noticed your jaw clicking or popping when you move your head or mouth certain ways?
If this happens to you, you could have TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). We want you to know you aren't alone, and we can fix it! At Imagine Dentistry, we treat patients that have experienced pain in the jaw joint, headaches, neck pain, teeth sensitivity and more due to TMD.
Dr. Coambs has completed advanced training to treat TMD through Occlusal Equilibration (bite balancing) and splint therapy. Make your dental health a priority!
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WHAT IS TMD?
TMD is temporomandibular joint disorder. This means the TMJ - temporomandibular joint - or the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw, isn't working properly. This hinge is one of the most complex joints in the body, responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working as it should is called TMD. Often, this feels like your jaw is popping or clicking or even "getting stuck" for a moment. The exact cause of this misalignment is often impossible to determine.
TMJ disorders have many signs and symptoms. It's often hard to know for sure if you have TMD, because one or all of these symptoms can also be present for other problems. Your dentist can help make a proper diagnosis by taking a complete medical and dental history, conducting a clinical examination and taking appropriate X-rays.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TMD?
Some of the most common TMD symptoms include:
Headaches (often mimicking migraines), earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes
A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
Pain brought on by yawning, opening the mouth widely or chewing
Jaws that "get stuck," lock or go out
Tenderness of the jaw muscles
A sudden change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
While there is no single cure for TMD, there are different treatments you can follow that may reduce your symptoms dramatically. Your dentist may recommend one or more of the following:
HOW IS TMJ TREATED?
Trying to eliminate muscle spasm and pain by applying moist heat or taking medication such as muscle-relaxants, aspirin or other over-the-counter pain-relievers, or anti-inflammatory drugs
Reducing the harmful effects of clenching and grinding by wearing an appliance, sometimes called a bite plate or splint. Custom-made to fit your mouth, the appliance slips over the upper teeth and keeps them from grinding against the lower teeth
Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw. Your dentist may suggest you seek training or counseling to help eliminate stress
When the jaw joints are affected and other treatments have been unsuccessful, jaw joint surgery may be recommended
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