If you regularly feel pain or tenderness around your jaw, you may be experiencing a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Like the name implies, this is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint includes the connective tissues, muscles, and bone that make up the jaw and control speaking, chewing, and yawning. As you can imagine, TMJ disorders can become highly disruptive to a person’s life if left untreated. They often result in more severe muscle pain, headaches, malocclusion, or even tooth damage. The good news is, TMJ treatment does not have to be invasive. Therapy and bite splints may solve some disorders, but surgery and injections are available for more extreme cases.
Did you know…
TMD is not one disorder, but a group of them affecting the temporomandibular joint. The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that up to 12 percent of Americans likely experience some kind of TMD, making it one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions in the country. One third of people with TMD fail to seek treatment for this condition, and women are twice as susceptible as men. If you live in Allen, TX and you believe you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, don’t hesitate to contact our office right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is TMJ treatment right for me?
You will be recommended for TMJ treatment if after a formal examination your dentist diagnoses you with TMJ disorder. During the examination, your dentist will test your bite, listen for clicks and pops when you move your jaw, and determine whether your jaw is opening and closing properly. An X-ray may be necessary to rule out other problems. When the issue is discovered, a non-invasive treatment will likely be recommended and medication may be prescribed if you are experiencing pain. If the conservative treatment is not effective, we will refer you to an oral surgeon in Allen for further treatment.
What can I expect with TMJ treatment?
Your TMJ treatment experience will probably be different from others’ as it varies among patients. However, there are a few things you can expect if you are being treated for TMD. Lifestyle changes to ensure treatment is successful may be necessary, like avoiding sudden jaw movements. Lowering stress in your life and sleeping on your back might also be recommended.
What post-care instructions will I receive after being treated for TMJ?
Again, since treatment and individual experiences vary, your post-care instructions will vary as well. A more intense treatment like surgery might require a temporary all-liquid diet. Applying ice to lower swelling and keeping the affected area clean and dry may also be necessary.