Treating temporomandibular pain
Every month, we see dozens of patients who suffer from jaw pain, which stems from stress, misalignment, arthritis, pressure, grinding, injury, or a range of other causes. We treat jaw pain using TMD therapy.
It’s important to note that TMJ does not always cause jaw pain. Sometimes, it is disguised as headache, neck pain, or even numbness in the fingers. Many people suffer from TMD for years before they become aware of the condition.
Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the hinge in your jaw which connects your jaw to your skull. This joint has many important functions. It enables you to move your jaw up and down when you talk or eat. The joint is used whenever you move your jaw to yawn, speak, swallow or chew. The pain is felt in the connecting muscles and in the joint itself.
Unfortunately, temporomandibular dysfunction is often overlooked or misdiagnosed, as the pain can manifest in the head or neck. In fact, migraines are often attributed to TMD. It’s important to note, however, that joint pain is just one of the many symptoms of the condition. Other symptoms could include:
TMJ has many causes, and people often develop it when they are severely anxious or under stress. Other causes include:
At Halton Village Dental, we take all these symptoms into consideration when making a diagnosis.
In some cases, patients don’t need TMD (jaw pain) therapy, but others will require long-term solutions. Treatment is based on the specific symptoms with which the patient presents, and what works specifically for them. That means that each TMD (jaw pain) therapy is custom designed for each individual patient.
Due to the excruciating pain that comes with TMJ, pain management is usually our first course of treatment. Hot or cold therapy can be very effective at home.
If your dentist feels that your jaw pain could be caused by stress, you may well benefit from practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, breathing exercises, and medication to ease the tension in your muscles or even general anxiety.
Many patients grind their teeth at night while they sleep. Those patients benefit most from using a nightguard to reduce the pressure.
Lifestyle changes could potentially assist in easing the symptoms while giving your temporomandibular joint and the surrounding muscles a break while recovering. Some options for lifestyle changes include:
In some cases, your dentist can correct a misaligned bite using orthodontic equipment or botox injections in the painful joint muscles. However, this is not suggested if other suggestions have not had any results.
If your TMD is causing persistent, intense pain, or if it limits the mobility of your jaw to the point that eating and drinking is impeded, the dentist may recommend TMJ surgery as a last resort option.
Do you suffer from frequent, severe head or neck pain? Get in touch with Halton Village Dental today to schedule an appointment. Our doctor might be able to provide you with life-changing TMD (jaw pain) therapy.
If you would like to find out more about Halton Village Dental or the care we provide, please call us or set up an appointment today.