TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a very common disorder that many people don’t know they are suffering from. At Thousand Oaks Dental, we ask our patients to be specific with any pain they are experiencing around the teeth, gums, jaw, and even the head. It is our goal to help you diagnose any problems that you may be experiencing and treat it quickly to relieve pain.
What is TMD?
The jaw bone is connected to the skull by a hinge joint called the TMJ or temporomandibular joint, which allows for movement and stability. This joint is meant to move freely without any stiffness or pain.
TMD or dysfunction in this joint will lead to difficulty chewing, locking of the jaw, clicking when you open your mouth, and even pain and discomfort. There can be a multitude of reasons why you may be experiencing TMD, one of the most common reasons being bruxism. Bruxism is when you grind and clench your teeth during sleep. While bruxism is often done unknowingly, it can cause serious problems for your jaw and teeth.
Other causes of TMD could be genetics, a serious jaw injury, or arthritis. Each one of these causes can be treated with non-surgical treatments.
At our office, we do everything possible to get you out of pain quickly, below we have listed and described some of our therapy methods.
Mouth Guards: When experiencing bruxism, we suggest that our patients invest in a night mouthguard. Our mouthguards are made here in our office with a strong but soft dental plastic that will protect the teeth at night. Each mouthguard is custom-made to fit your bite and will act as a protective barrier against grinding damage.
Physical Therapy: Just like any other part of your body, it is important to help your jaw heal properly after injury. Strengthening the jaw with a custom exercise plan can help get the jaw back into proper shape and prevent pain.
Heat & Ice Therapy: To minimize swelling and ease pain, your dentist might suggest that you participate in heat and ice therapy.
The best therapy option will depend on the cause of each TMD case. If you have been experiencing tension headaches, pain in your jaw bone, clicking and locking in the joint, or earaches please schedule an appointment with our San Antonio, Texas office, Thousand Oaks Dental. Taking care of TMD quickly and effectively can greatly enhance your quality of life.