Our experts here at Medhat Dental Excellence realize the problems associated with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ/TMD) and are fully equipped to address these problems. TMD refers to the improper working of the hinge that connects the lower and upper jaw. Considered among the most complex joints, the hinge is an important part of the body that moves the lower jaw forward, side-to-side, and backward. The hinge is supported by a complex system of ligaments, bones, discs, and muscles, which when impaired, leads to the problems of TMD. The general feeling associated with TMD is a clicking or popping of the jaw as it gets stuck momentarily. Usually, it is almost impossible to determine the exact cause of the misalignment of the jaw.
There are many symptoms that may alert you of a possible TMJ problem. Headaches that mimic migraines accompanied by pressure and pain behind the eyes and earaches are common indicators of this condition. You may also hear a popping or clicking sound when opening your mouth. Pain during the wide opening of the mouth, chewing, or yawning is also a symptom of this condition. Stuck jaws and a sudden change in the fitting of the upper and lower teeth should also be a concern.
When you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important that you visit our office for our team to conduct proper diagnosis since conditions such as sinus problems, gum disease, and tooth decay may also cause similar symptoms.
Our dentists will begin the diagnosis by asking you some questions about your health history before conducting a physical exam. The physical exam involves checking your jaw joints for tenderness or pain, as well as listening for pops, grating sounds, or clicks as you move your jaws. The physical exam may also involve checking the functioning of your jaw and examining any possible locking as you open and close your mouth. Your bite will also be examined by our professionals who will also check any issues with the facial muscles.
No single cure is available for TMJ. However, our experts are prepared with an arsenal of treatment options, which you can follow to dramatically reduce your symptoms. One of the treatment options that our experts recommend is the application of moist heat to the area, or medications like aspirin, muscle relaxants, inflammatory drugs or pain relievers, which are effective in handling pain and muscle spasms.
Another option involves the use of dental appliances to reduce the harmful effects of grinding and clenching. These appliances are custom-made in a way that fits over your teeth. They are typically worn over the upper row of teeth, thereby protecting them from the grinding effect of the lower teeth. Our experts also teach relaxation techniques that serve you by helping you to control the tension of the muscles surrounding the jaw. The last resort after the failure of other treatment options to correct the jaw joint problem is jaw joint surgery.
TMD/TMJ can badly affect your oral health and quality of life. An exam by one of our specialists can help find the right diagnosis and offer early treatment. In case you have any questions about TMJ/TMD call Medhat Dental Excellence at (773) 774-4611 today.