The temporomandibular joint refers to the hinge which connects your jaws to the temporal bones in front of your ear in the skull. These hinges are very important since they enable one to move the jaws side to side and up and down. When you face some issues with your muscles and jaws at your face, then we call this temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Symptoms of TMD
In many cases when you have TMD, you will experience some discomfort and severe pain which may last for long or may be temporary. It may affect both or one of the sides of your face. There are so many people who have this condition but it’s common among the individuals who are between 20 to years old.
Some of the other common symptoms are:
- You may find it difficult when you open your mouth wide.
- Your jaws may get the lock or stuck in a closed or open mouth position.
- You may have the tired feeling at your face
- Trouble while you are trying to chew something or a sudden uncomfortable bite as if your lower and upper teeth are not fitting properly.
- Tenderness or pain in your face, shoulders, neck or jaw joint area and in the area around the ear when you speak, chew or open your mouth wide.
- You may experience grating, popping, clicking sounds in your jaw joint when your close or open your mouth.
- The sudden change in your dental occlusion that is the way the lower and upper teeth are fitting together.
- Swelling on your face
For the dentist to diagnose properly this condition they will have to conduct a thorough dental and medical evaluation and also take some x-rays to evaluate your jaw joint area, check your occlusion. The dentist will also check the tissues and muscles of your neck and head to determine if there is any inflammation.
- Although there is no cure for TMD, there are some treatments which can be used to reducing drastically the symptoms. When you visit the dentist they may recommend the following measures:
- You may be prescribed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs so that you can relieve the swelling and pain in your face.
- The dentist may recommend that you seek some counseling and training to assist in eliminating stress. You may also be advised to do some relaxation exercises to assist in controlling tension in your muscle in the jaws.
- Reducing any effects of grinding and chewing by wearing a splint or night guard. The splints are custom made so that they can fit your mouth; this device is able to slip through your upper teeth thus preventing them from grinding against your lower teeth.
- The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator which uses low electrical currents in relaxing facial and joint muscles.
- Eliminating pain and muscle spasm by applying moist heat or using medication such as aspirin and muscle relaxants.
Finally from the research which has been conducted by dentists is that it’s possible for one to manage this condition if you discover it at early stages.
In case you have this condition or you have any signs which you may suspect, then it’s important that you contact us at ProCare Dentistry for a consultation and to schedule an appointment. Call us today at (561) 737-5530