Here at Perrinville Family Dentistry, we have specialists in all the dentistry fields, including temporomandibular disorder. The name of the disorder is also known as TMD, from temporomandibular disorder, but in some literature, it can also be found as TMJ, after the joint. The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull and allows movement of the jaw for you to be able to talk, yawn or chew. Any issues with the jaw or the muscles that control the movements of the jaw are known as TMD.
Causes and Symptoms of TMD
While a certain cause of TMD can’t be determined, our specialists believe that the symptoms appear due to problems with the muscles or joint. Injuries to the jaw or muscles can lead to TMD. Some factors can lead to TMD, such as stress, grinding and clenching teeth or arthritis in the joint.
Probably the most obvious symptom of TMD is extreme pain and considerable discomfort. The pain can be chronic, although it is also sometimes temporary. It might affect one or both sides, and it is mostly encountered in people between ages 20 and 40. Other symptoms include tenderness in your face, jaw, neck, and shoulders, around the ear whenever you chew, speak or yawn, a jaw that gets “ locked” or “stuck” in a position, trouble chewing, uncomfortable biting and swelling in the face. There are other symptoms that are considered rare such as toothaches, headaches, hearing problems, earaches, dizziness, and tinnitus.
How is the Condition Diagnosed?
At our clinic, we have specialists that can diagnose TMD by various methods. First, our professionals will check the joints for any pain and tenderness. They will also listen for pops and clicks whenever you open and close your mouth. The specialists then will test the bite to see if there is any problem with the facial muscles.
After the preliminary check, our specialists will recommend digital x-rays to view the temporomandibular joints and teeth to see where the problems are located. If the cause is still unclear after x-rays, our professionals might recommend a CT scan or MRI. This will help us to see if the joint disc is in the proper position and to see a detailed scan of the joint. If our dentists believe it is necessary, they might refer you to one of our oral surgeons or orthodontists for further treatment plans.
What are The Treatments for TMD?
Our specialists are constantly studying and learning about the latest treatment options in the dental care field. For TMD, they might prescribe medication to reduce swelling and pain. Depending on your medical history and the probable cause for TMD, the specialist will recommend a medication that will relieve the stress and control the pain.
Another treatment, depending on the probable cause, might be dental surgery. Our specialized team will look over your x-rays and scans to establish if surgery can correct the TMD. For more information about TMD/TMJ, call the experienced professionals here at Perrinville Family Dentistry at (425) 616-0620 today!