Complete Dental Care in Vero Beach | What is TMD?
Do you sometimes find yourself with a painful jaw or clicking in your jaw joint? This jaw pain may be related to a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMJ pain occurs when there is damage to the Temporomandibular Joint.
Causes of TMD
TMJ discomfort is common and the reasons are often debated in the dental community. Most believe that causes of TMD include, but are not limited to:
- Teeth malposition and/or grinding or clenching
- Joint malposition
- Poor muscle posturing
- Sleep Disordered Breathing such as Sleep Apnea
In our practice, we have found a strong correlation between teeth malposition and TMD. When teeth are improperly aligned it can lead to the breakdown of the top surfaces of the teeth as the jaw tries unsuccessfully to self-correct this problem.
Most people are unaware that they are even experiencing TMD until the disease has progressed to the severe stages. Please be aware of the following sign and symptoms and visit us right away:
- Clicking, popping or soreness in the front of the ear
- “stuck” or “locked” jaws when you open or close your mouth
- Pain around your mouth (especially when chewing or speaking)
- Bite problems
- Neck Pain
- Sinus Pain
- Teeth clenching and/or grinding
What to Expect
Our doctors have extensive training in evaluating and treating TMD. Every new patient gets a thorough examination that includes the Jaw Joint. We will be listening for jaw “popping” sounds as well as checking for gum tenderness. We will analyze your bite and how your teeth function. We may take an x-ray of your jaws to identify any underlying issues that may pose problems in the future. Our doctors have been trained at The Dawson Academy; please visit thedawsonacademy.com for more information.
How is TMD Treated
Treatment often includes splints and/or the correction of a poor bite to alleviate the stresses that are being applied to the joint and to reduce muscle hyperactivity. The bite can be improved by a variety of treatments and your dentist will assess what is best for you.
Physical therapy may be indicated as well as medications. In extreme cases, surgical intervention may be needed. It is very important to get your joint evaluated sooner rather than later as if TMD is left untreated it can lead to chronic pain and increase the chance of needing surgery.
Most signs of TMD supersede symptoms so seeing a dentist regularly that has the training to be able to identify the early signs and symptoms of TMD is extremely important. If caught early the damage may be able to be completely reversed.
Contact Your Complete Dentist in Vero Beach!
You can rest assured in knowing that you are in great hands here at Dental Partners of Vero Beach when it comes to treating you TMD. You should be able to live your life with comfort and ease! We want you to smile brighter without pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!