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3D rendered xray of a skull with the TMJ highlightedTemporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are conditions that affect the jaw and face muscles. The temporomandibular joint is referred to as TMJ. Everyone has two TMJ joints on each side of the jaw that help us to chew and speak. TMDs don't last for an extended period; typically, they appear for a short time and disappear on their own. TMDs can be severe either on their own or when combined with other medical conditions like headaches, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, or sleep issues. Visit Frankart Family Dental to get more information about TMJ/TMD.

Causes of Temporomandibular Disorder

The most common cause of TMDs is damage to the temporomandibular joint, jaw joints, or surrounding tissues. Another cause is teeth grinding or clenching since it puts a lot of strain on the joint. The condition can also occur due to the disc displacement that is located between the ball and the socket joint. Other causes of TMDs include joint arthritis, recent trauma, an incorrect bite, or strain that tightens your facial and jaw muscles.

TMJ/TMD Symptoms

TMJ/TMD primarily affects young people, with women being the most affected. The main TMJ/TMD sign is feeling severe pain and discomfort in your neck, jaw, ears, face, and shoulders when you chew, speak, or open your mouth. Also, your jaw joint may generate a clicking, grating, or cracking every time you move your mouth. Additionally, you can experience hearing loss, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and a change in how your upper and lower teeth fit together. Other symptoms of TMJ/TMD include jaw soreness, toothaches, difficulty biting, facial puffiness, and facial fatigue.

TMJ/TMD Diagnosis

Dentists typically discover TMDs during routine dental examinations. In order to identify the affected areas, your dentist will inspect your jaw and face. The dentist will feel your joints and jaw when you open and close your mouth. They will conduct x-rays to ascertain the extent of the damage. Dentists use cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans to capture images of your facial bones, jaw, teeth, and sinuses. They also employ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to check the health of the TMJ disc and see if it's working appropriately.

Treatment for TMD

Treatment options for TMD include self management, nonsurgical therapy, surgery, and other dental procedures. Self management techniques are actions that you can do on your own. These consist of knowing relaxation and meditation skills, taking charge of your health, and engaging in worthwhile activities. Nonsurgical therapies include taking over-the-counter drugs, consuming soft food, and applying cold or hot packs on your face to strengthen and relax your jaw muscles. It also includes stopping bad habits like biting your nails, clenching your jaw, and chewing gum.

Ensure you wear a night mouth guard for those who suffer from teeth grinding and clenching. You can also replace a missing tooth or align your teeth using corrective dental processes like braces, bridges, and crowns. Additionally, ensure that your jaw is not moving so much. Some TMD therapies include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, radio wave therapy, ultrasounds, and trigger point injections (TENS).

Frankart Family Dental will recommend the best treatment for TMJ/TMD. Call us today at (513) 809-1366 to schedule an appointment for your TMD treatment.
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