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Temporomandibular Disorders

Temporomandibular Disorders ( Jaw joint disorders ). Are you suffering from pain in the jaw joints, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches or migraine?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder, known more commonly as TMD, occurs when there are problems with the muscles ,teeth and jaws.


SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

There are many signs and symptoms of TMD. 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.

Some of the most common TMD symptoms include:

  • Pain in the face, jaw or ear area
  • Headaches (often mimicking migraines), earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes
  • Neck pain,shoulder ache & back aches
  • A clicking or popping sound when opening or closing the mouth & jaw deviation on opening
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth 
  • Looseness & soreness of teeth
  • Jaw that “gets stuck,” locked or goes out of place
  • Tenderness of the jaw muscles & limited mouth opening
  • Trouble chewing or biting
  • Swelling of the face
  • A sudden change in the person’s dental occlusion (the way the upper and lower teeth fit together)

CAUSE

Often, TMD arises from problems with the muscles in the jaw,teeth  or the jaw-joint itself. It is important to see a dentist or dental specialist for a consultation to determine the cause of the oral problem.

DIAGNOSIS

To properly diagnose TMD, your dentist will conduct a thorough medical and dental evaluation and may take certain scans  to evaluate the jaw joint and surrounding structures and check your occlusion. He may check the muscles and tissues of the head and neck to test for inflammation. Certain exercises and movements may be involved.Also impressions of the jaws are required to study further.


TREATMENT

While there is no single cure for TMD, there are different treatments that may reduce your symptoms dramatically. Your dentist may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Trying to eliminate muscle spasm and pain by applying moist heat 
  • Reducing the harmful effects of clenching and grinding by wearing a night guard or permissive splint. Custom-made to fit your mouth, the device 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. 
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) uses low-level electrical currents to relax joint and facial muscles and provide relief. Low-level laser therapy will assist in helping the neck to move more freely. 
  • A dentist may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and swelling
  • Full mouth rehabilitations

 

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