Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
TMJ DISORDERS DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
TMJ Treatment Warrnambool
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD (sometimes called TMJ), is a set of symptoms associated with the joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull, commonly referred to as the jaw joint.
TMD has many causes and symptoms, which could make the diagnosis complicated.
The best approach is to organise a diagnosis with your healthcare physicians and your dentist.
They may collaborate to determine the problem and create a treatment plan that suits your diagnosis and symptoms.
Because causes of TMD can significantly vary, it is important to rule out all possible causes before moving forward with a treatment plan.
Symptoms of TMJ or TMD
TMD or TMJ symptoms vary widely and include:
- Sore jaw muscles
- Toothache or dental pain
- Sinus/nose issues
- Pain in the neck or back
- Frequent headaches or migraine
- Tinnitus (ringing ears) or ear pain
- Incorrect bite
- Pain chewing or when opening mouth wide
- Inability to open mouth wide
- Pain opening or closing mouth
- Facial pain or tension
- Difficulty moving jaw
Causes of TMD
- Causes vary widely and can include:
- Injuries to jaw or jaw joint
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
- Ear infection
- Poor dental work
- Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth
- Persistent clenching of the jaw
- Occlusion issues
- Anatomical abnormalities
Your Warrnambool dentist will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw by doing the following:
- Listen to and feel your jaw when you open and close your mouth
- Observe the range of motion in your jaw
- Press on areas around your jaw to identify sites of pain or discomfort
- If your doctor or dentist suspects a problem, you may need:
- Dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw
- CT scan to provide detailed images of the bones involved in the joint
- MRI to reveal problems with the joint’s disk or surrounding soft tissue
Warrnambool TMJ Treatment
Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may include:
In many cases, TMD is the result of dental problems and can be resolved with orthodontic treatment or restoration.
Wearing Mouthguards and Splints
Treatment for TMJ or TMD may include wearing a special mouthguard that protects your teeth from damage when you grind your teeth at night.
Depending on the diagnosis, your dentist may recommend that you wear equipment such as an oral splint to correct the problem.
If deemed necessary, you may choose to receive surgical treatment for your condition. Surgery may be required to relieve pain in the case of structural disorders that cannot be treated using any other method.
Before surgery can be considered necessary, you may receive X-rays, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and a CT scan to diagnose the condition properly.
If surgery is deemed necessary, you may be referred for maxillofacial, oral, or open joint surgery.
Listed below are the most commonly asked questions we receive from our patients.
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Is there a way to prevent TMJ disorders?
- If you have occasional episodes of jaw pain, avoid chewing gum or biting on hard objects, like pens or fingernails.
- Avoid eating hard or chewy foods. Support your lower jaw with your hand when yawning.
- Avoid taking large bites when eating.
- Regularly massage your jaw, cheeks, and temple muscles.
- Apply moist heat if you feel spasms.
- Maintain a good sleeping posture with neck support.
- Do not put your phone between your shoulder and neck when taking calls.
- See your Warrnambool dentist if you grind your teeth at night or often find yourself clenching your jaw.