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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) Treatment

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) Treatment

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) also known as TMJD refers to a group of conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and its associated muscles. The TMJ is your jaw joint that allows you to open and close your mouth for daily function such as speaking and eating. 

Symptoms Of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Headaches
  • Clicking in the jaw joint
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth / Locked jaw
  • Ear ache

Causes Of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

The exact causes of TMD may not always be clear, but several factors can contribute to its development. These factors include:

  • Jaw injuries: Trauma to the jaw joint or muscles, such as a direct blow or whiplash, can lead to TMD symptoms.
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding or clenching can put excessive pressure on the TMJ and the muscles.
  • Parafunctional habits: Such as nail-biting or pen-chewing.
  • Stress: Emotional or psychological stress can contribute to jaw clenching and muscle tension.
  • Malocclusion: Misalignment of the teeth or jaw can strain the TMJ, in some cases, causing displacement.
  • Arthritis: Various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the TMJ and result in TMD symptoms.

How Do Our Dentists Treat TMD Pain?

The treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) is tailored to the specific cause, ensuring personalised care for each individual. Our dentist will treat TMD pain firstly by gathering your symptom history and conduct a thorough assessment to provide an accurate diagnosis. 

TMD treatment process encompasses a comprehensive approach that may include the following: 

  1. Self-care measures: Consuming soft foods, applying heat or ice packs to the affected area, practising stress-reduction techniques, and avoiding excessive jaw movements to alleviate pain and promote healing.
  2. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs may help alleviate TMD symptoms. 
  3. Oral appliances: TMD pain dentists may prescribe the use of a nighttime mouth guard to help reduce the effect of grinding or clenching, and provide pain relief.
  4. Physical therapy such as jaw exercises and massages
  5. Stress management: Strategies like relaxation exercises, counselling, and stress reduction techniques can be beneficial for managing TMD symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.
  6. Dental treatments: Orthodontic treatments, tooth adjustments may be carried if it is the cause of TMD.
  7. Botox Therapy: Helps to relax tensed jaw muscles and reduce their force during contraction without impacting eating.
  8. Surgery: In rare cases where conservative treatments fail, surgical interventions may be considered to address severe TMD.

Frequently Asked Questions

About half of the population experienced TMD at some point of their life. Some are self-limiting whereas others experience severe symptoms.

Yes, stress and anxiety can contribute to TMD by causing muscle tension and jaw clenching, leading to symptoms and worsening of the condition.

While it may not be entirely preventable, certain measures can reduce the risk of developing TMD or alleviate symptoms. These include stress management, maintaining good posture, avoiding excessive jaw movements, and seeking timely treatment for dental issues or teeth grinding.

Botox is safe and effective for managing moderate to severe TMD. The botox helps to relax tensed muscles which contribute to TMD. Your dentist will discuss the treatment options with you based on your condition.

Do not rub or massage your face for a few hours after the botox injection to prevent the botox from spreading to unintended areas. You can resume daily activities once you leave the dental clinic. Most patients notice improvement after 1-2 days but relief can take up to a week.

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