TMD Treatment Middleborough MA
If you experience ongoing pain near your ear, jaw or the side of your face, with clicking or popping sounds, you may be suffering from temporomandibular disorders or TMD. TMD describes a group of conditions characterized by pain and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint and/or the surrounding muscles. While it can be difficult to determine the cause of TMD, most TMD cases resolve themselves with home remedies. Surgery is typically only done as a last resort for TMD treatment.
The two TMJs that connect your lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull on either side are complex joints that allow movement in three dimensions. The lower jaw and temporal bone fit together as a ball and socket, with a cushioning disk in between. Muscles in the temples and cheeks move the lower jaw. Any of these parts can be the source of a TMD problem. If you are having difficulty opening or closing your jaw or are suffering from pain in this area, a thorough examination by your dentist can help identify the problem and resolve it with one or more TMD treatment methods.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD
- Clicking Sounds. Those with TMD may hear a clicking or popping sound when opening or closing the mouth. This is usually caused by a shifting of the disk inside the joint. If the clicking sound is accompanied by pain or limited jaw function, this would indicate TMD.
- Muscle Pain. You may experience muscle pain in the temples and cheeks, where the jaw-closing muscles are located. If you feel soreness and stiffness when you wake up in the morning, it may be because you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night. A custom-made nightguard would be helpful in decreasing the force applied to your teeth.
- Joint Pain. If you experience pain in the jaw joints, you likely have arthritis of the TMJ. X-rays show that some people have arthritic-looking TMJs but no pain or other symptoms. Others have significant pain and dysfunction but X-rays show that their joints look normal. There is no cure for arthritis, but medication can help relieve symptoms.
Relieving the Pain with TMD Treatment
Your dentist will examine your mouth and create a strategy for treating your condition and managing your pain. Sometimes changing to a softer diet can reduce stress on the muscles and joints. Ice or moist heat can help with inflammation and soreness. Stretching exercises can help with muscle spasms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants can provide pain relief.
In severe cases, orthodontics, dental restorations or cortisone injections may be necessary. Surgery may be recommended as a last resort, but that is rare. Most cases are resolved without surgical procedures.
TMD can be painful, but fortunately, there are many ways to relieve discomfort. If you have tried home remedies, to no avail, then it may be a good idea to get help from a professional. The dentists at Middleboro Family Dental can treat your condition and alleviate your pain. There are many options available. To learn more, call our office at (508) 947-4411 today.