TMD/TMJ

TMD/TMJ | Yorktown Dental Spa

TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is a condition in which your TMJ (temporomandibular joints) start hurting and lead to facial pain. Please continue reading to find out about TMD/TMJ diagnosis and treatment at Yorktown Dental Spa.

TMD/TMJ

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joints located on each side of the head just in front of the ears. These joints connect your jaws to the rest of your head and are responsible for most of the jaw-related movements such as eating and talking. However, these joints sometimes start hurting and aching, which is a condition called Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).

Studies show that over 15% of all Americans suffer from chronic facial pain related to the ears, jaws, or headaches. Most of these issues are caused by TMJ/TMD. However, narrowing down the root cause of TMD is challenging. Please continue reading to find out more about TMJ/TMD and how we diagnose/ treat this condition at Yorktown Dental Spa.

Signs and Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

The following are common signs and symptoms of TMD/TMJ:

  • Earaches.
  • Facial pain.
  • Swellings on the face.
  • Tenderness of jaws.
  • Difficulty while moving or opening the mouth, even to eat, speak, or yawn.
  • Locked jaws, making it difficult to open your mouth.
  • Sensitive teeth and gums.
  • Inability to chew food due to misalignment of teeth.
  • Tinnitus leading to a ringing sensation in the ears.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Shoulder and neck pains.
  • Muscle exhaustion in the face.
  • Jaw pain in the morning.
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaws.

Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

While the exact cause of TMD isn’t clear, you may suffer from TMJ pains in the following situations:

  • If the shock-absorbing disk moves out of alignment or erodes. Without the disk, the joints will create friction when they slide against each other, leading to jaw pain.
  • If the joint cartilage malfunctions because of arthritis or other issues. This will also cause friction and jaw pains.
  • If the jaw is injured due to impact.

The following are some of the most prominent risk factors of TMD:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis because they erode the joint cartilage.
  • Jaw injuries because of impact or a sharp blow.
  • Chronic bruxism or teeth grinding can place immense stress on the jaws, leading to TMJ pain.
  • Connective tissue diseases can affect the TMJ.

Diagnosis of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

As you can see, TMD/TMJ can occur due to a wide range of causes and conditions. Diagnosing the root cause of TMD may take time but it’s necessary. A good dental clinic will thoroughly examine your symptoms to identify the potential root cause of TMD.

The dentist will diagnose the root cause of TMJ/TMD through a process of elimination. They’ll go over your medical history and discuss your symptoms to rule out causes like sinus issues, tooth decay, gum disease, or arthritis.

Following the initial discussion, the dentist will run some physical tests. They may ask you to move your jaws and listen for clicking, popping, or grinding sounds. If they suspect you have TMJ/TMD, they’ll also recommend advanced screening tests like a CT scan, MRI scan, or digital X-Ray scan. This will help the dentist identify the root cause of TMD/TMJ.

Treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Depending on the root cause of TMD/TMJ, the dentist may recommend a wide range of different treatment options.

  • Medicinal Treatment

    The dentist may recommend certain medications to relieve pain or relax your muscles such as ibuprofen, tricyclic antidepressants, and others. You should only consume as much as is recommended by the dentist. 

  • Therapeutic Treatment

    The following are some non-drug and non-surgical treatments for TMJ/TMD:

    • The dentist may ask you to wear mouth guards or oral splints — this is useful if your TMD is caused by bruxism because it will prevent your teeth from gnashing against each other and it will minimize the impact of teeth grinding.
    • You may have to perform some jaw strengthening exercises regularly.
    • TMJ/TMD is often caused by bruxism, which may be caused by psychological issues. If that’s the case, the dentist will recommend counseling.
  • Surgical Treatment

    You may also be suffering from TMJ/TMD because of your dental framework due to issues like malocclusion or other issues. In that case, the dentist may recommend treatments like Open-Joint surgery, TMJ Arthroscopy, Arthrocentesis, among others.

PATIENT TESTIMONIALS

One of the best dentists in town! Highly recommend place for any dental treatments. Dr.Chung takes care of the patient very well and addresses the patient’s concerns. Very friendly staff and environment!

Fabiha Z.

Doctor Chung is very good at what she does. She is very gentle and careful when working on her patients. Dr. Chung is very caring and she will always make sure you are comfortable in her practice.

Madhia S.

Dr. Chung and her staff are excellent and make the entire process feel easy and comfortable. The office is also very clean and well maintained. Highly recommend!

Ahren C.

Dr. Chung is incredible! I have gotten my wisdom teeth removed from her and she made the entire process go so smoothly! I highly recommend paying a visit to her!

Aisha H.

Highly recommended! This was one of the best dental experiences I have had! Dr. Chung was so nice and professional. The office was super cute and clean as well.

Stephanie L.

Had my son’s teeth cleaned this Friday and cannot be more impressed by the results. Dr. Chung was so kind to him, explained everything happening and perfect results. I would highly recommend her!

May M.

Definitely Recommend!!! Dr. Chung is the best dentist i have met in Houston. She is really careful and makes sure you’re comfortable. Fantastic results , great staff and great location. You can’t go wrong here.

Jeeda

TMD/TMJ Q&A

How to treat TMJ?

Home treatments for TMD generally include taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen or ibuprofen, use ice packs, and eating soft foods. These tips will relieve muscle pain and swelling. However, if you suffer from regular TMJ pain, you need to visit a dentist who may recommend medications, therapeutic options, surgical options, and mouth guards. The precise treatment for TMJ depends on the root cause of TMD.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ?

Common signs and symptoms of TMJ include tenderness of jaws, pain in the temporomandibular joints, earaches, difficulty while chewing, facial muscle pains, locking jaws, or popping sounds when you move your jaws.

Do I really need a night guard for bruxism?

Bruxism — often caused by TMD — is a condition in which you subconsciously gnash your teeth at night. This can damage your teeth and enamel. However, a night guard will cushion your jaw muscles and create a soft layer between your teeth to prevent jaw pains and prevent bruxism from damaging your teeth.

What are the causes of sudden TMJ pain?

Some of the common causes of sudden TMJ pain include arthritis, bruxism, tissue damage, misaligned teeth, jaw injuries, and damage to the joint cartilage.

Schedule your TMD/TMJ Appointment

At Yorktown Dental Spa, we carefully study all of your symptoms and medical history to identify the root cause of TMJ/TMD and treat it permanently. We also provide custom mouthguards to protect your teeth from the damage caused by bruxism. Please schedule your TMD/TMJ appointment today — our clinic is located in 5373 W Alabama St #118, close to The Galleria in Houston, TX.

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