Everyone has heard of it, most people fear it, but what exactly is it? I’m talking about TMD. TMD is widely thought of as ‘lock jaw,’ but there is much more to TMD than simply a locked jaw. If you are concerned you have TMD, it is important that you take the time to research some of the signs and symptoms, as well as the different types of treatment options.
With a little bit of knowledge on the subject comes a great amount of power: choice. Bucket loads of dentists offer TMD treatment in Hoover. How do you choose? Below I have listed a few things you should know about TMD in the hopes that you will come to better understand the problem, and how to approach it.
Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of TMD
TMD is still a slight mystery to doctors and dentists because the jaw joint is complex. Some of the most common causes are:
- Trauma to the head/jaw/teeth
- Frequently chewing gum (or anything else that is hard to chew)
- Surgery on the mouth
- Jaw alignment
- Teeth grinding
As you can see, the causes are all very different, but they can play a part in the diagnosis. The symptoms of TMD include jaw pain, jaw clicking, headaches, earaches, loss of hearing, jaw popping, muscle spasms, and sometimes even dizziness and nausea. If you have more than one of these symptoms you should see a doctor or dentist immediately.
Treating TMD is a difficult job because everyone’s symptoms and severity levels differ. For this reason, we think TMD treatment should be the job of an entire team, versus a singular doctor. The jaw is a very important joint. We could not eat food without it. Therefore, every doctor who comes near it should be aware of your TMD diagnosis. This means your dentist, primary care physician, orthodontist, speech therapist, physical therapist, and anyone else should all play a role in your treatment plan.
For mild to moderate cases of TMD, a dental splint, night guard, can be used to help relieve discomfort. If the your case is more muscular related, warm compress, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers can be used to minimize the symptoms. Physical therapy is often accompanied with the medications, and the avoidance of gum and other excessively-chewy foods is advised.
The dental splint are placed inside the mouth to help reduce tension and grinding, and keep the disk aligned within the jaw joint. When dental splints fail to help in extreme cases, you should consider the last course of treatment: surgery. This can be in the form of a TMJ arthroscopy or a full joint replacement. Recovery time varies greatly between these two surgeries, so talk with your dentist thoroughly to ensure you have a full understanding of the procedures.
TMJ Treatment in Hoover
Are you concerned you have TMD? Barganier & LeCroy DMD would love to help. We offer TMD treatment in Hoover, and would love to help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment you deserve.
We have helped many people find a pain-free life by using dental treatments such as adjusting the bite, replacing teeth, filling in gaps, and prescribing dental splints. Schedule your appointment for a TMD evaluation today!