TMD is a contraction for temporomandibular joint disorder while TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. The two terms are commonly used interchangeably. TMJ disorder refers to mild or severe pain in your jaw. The disorder can also affect neighboring muscles and ligaments. You should visit us at The Dentist on Boones Ferry if you have unrelenting pain and tenderness in your jaw. Our specialist will also discuss possible causes and treatment options for your problem.
Symptoms of TMD
One of the most common symptoms of TMJ is pain or tenderness in your jaw. Pain in one joint or both is also a possible sign of TMJ. You may also have pain and discomfort in the region around your ears or inside the ears. Other symptoms include difficulty or pain when chewing, which relates to the locking of the temporomandibular joints, where it becomes difficult to open and close your mouth. Patients with this disorder have also complained of facial pain. Lastly, a clicking noise or a sensation of grating is also an indicator of the disorder. However, if the clicking is not accompanied by pain or restriction of movement, you do not need treatment for TMJ disorder.
Causes of TMJ
One of the causes of TMJ is excessive strain on jaw joints and muscles when chewing, swallowing, or speaking. Secondly, the disorder may be caused by bruxism. Bruxism refers to habitual and involuntary teeth grinding. Arthritis and jaw displacement are also known causes of TMD disorder. Improper bite and acute trauma may also harm your jaw joints and surrounding tissue, hence causing pain. Having other painful medical conditions may intensify the pain of TMD. These conditions include irritable bowel movement and fibromyalgia.
We diagnose TMJ after a thorough dental checkup. Our specialist will observe the range of motion in your mouth. Physical examination also entails pressing your face and jaw to assess discomfort. We also rely on x-rays to review the extent of the damage. For instance, panoramic x-rays offer a more detailed overview of the affected area. Our specialists also use MRI scans to assess the soft tissues surrounding the jaw joint. The scans indicate any inflammation or jaw locking. CBCT scans offer a detailed 3-D image of the affected area. Using this information, we make an informed diagnosis, which helps identify the right treatment plan.
We consider multiple factors when identifying an ideal treatment plan for you. Your current health and medical history are one of the factors that we take into consideration. Your treatment plan also relies on your age and personal preference. Treatment options include resting your temporomandibular joints. We also administer pain relievers if our specialists advise so. Some cases of TMJ can be treated through relaxation techniques, posture training, or physical therapy. We also design customized appliances that reduce teeth grinding. Making dietary changes allows the jaw to rest, reducing pain and discomfort. In extreme cases, we rely on surgical measures to treat the disorder.
To get useful and relevant information on TMJ, visit our specialists at The Dentist on Boones Ferry. You can also contact us at (971) 377-1208 to book your first appointment