Treatment of TMD/TMJ Disorders
What is TMD/TMJ Disorder?
Your jaw joint is also referred to as the temporomandibular joint. They can be felt at the front of each ear as you open and close your mouth. This joint is hard at work every day as you chew and speak.
Problems which arise involving this joint are referred to as temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) or Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders. They can be subcategorised into problems originating from the facial muscles or from the joint itself.
What are some common symptoms of TMD/TMJ disorder?
Some common symptoms are:
- Pain or tenderness in the facial muscles and jaw joint area, especially during chewing, speaking, or opening your mouth widely
- Jaw getting locked in an open/closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping or grating sounds in the joint (may or may not be painful)
- General fatigue of facial muscles
- Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite (feels as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly)
How is TMD/TMJ Disorder usually treated?
If you suspect that you have TMD/TMJ disorder, it is imperative that you go to a dentist for a full examination and check up. This is to exclude other possible causes for your symptoms.
Your bite will also be analysed for malocclusion (incorrect/bad bite) which may be contributing to your problems.
Once you are diagnosed with TMD/TMJ disorder, your dentist may prescribe certain medications, jaw exercises, and splints. Where there is a bite problem, dental work to correct this may be recommended.