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TMJ &
TMD
.

What is it?

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a condition affecting muscles of mastication and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the mandible to the skull. This joint is the most complex joint in the body as it contains within the articular space a fibrous capsule that is in motion thruout function. If this disc is damaged or displaced pain or joint sounds may result. Malocclusion, lots of dental work, any trauma to the head or neck as well as underdevelopment of the maxilla or mandible can lead to pathology of the muscles and or TMJ. It is also associated with other conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea(OSA), teeth grinding/clenching, and chronic fatigue syndrome, among other ailments.

Symptoms

TMD/TMJ can manifest in a variety of symptoms. Common signs include persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, difficulty or discomfort while chewing, aching facial pain, an uncomfortable or uneven bite, chronic headaches and even migraines. Other signs of a problem may go unnoticed and only a thorough exam by your dentist will reveal them; such as, cracks in teeth, worn down cusps, periodontal disease, extra deposition of bone. You might also experience a clicking or grating sound in your jaw when you open your mouth or chew. In severe cases, your jaw might even lock, making it difficult to open or close your mouth.

Treatments

We provide comprehensive treatments tailored to each patient’s specific needs. Our highly skilled doctor will conduct a thorough examination, recommend specific radiographs, and accurately diagnose TMD/TMJ. The treatment plan may involve a combination of pain management techniques including trigger point injections for immediate relief, occlusal evaluation, orthotic device, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, corrective dental treatments might be recommended to rectify bite issues and stabalize the masticatory system.

TMJ Orthotic Device

One of the most effective treatments for TMD is the use of a TMJ orthotic device. This device, custom-made for each patient, fits over the upper or lower teeth. It helps reduce clenching or grinding by allowing freedom of movement so the muscles can find their neutral position, alleviating the pressure on the TMJ. IT also helps to reposition the jaw to correct any misalignment and encourages the jaw muscles to relax, reducing pain and improving sleep quality. Once symptoms are alleviated then an evaluation of how the teeth contact during function is done and corrected in a minimally invasive procedure called Full Mouth Equilibration.

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