Jaw Pain Relief at Goldstein Dental Group in Novi, MI
In the US, 25 percent of adults reported experiencing facial pain within the past six months, reports the Centers for Disease Control. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), or Temporomandibular Disorder, affects more than 10 million Americans, asserts the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Unfortunately, many do not understand what TMD is, how it develops, and what treatment options exist. Furthermore, poor oral health contributes to worsening physical and mental health as well. Let us take you inside the world of TMD.
What Is TMD?
Within the jaw, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) provides the movement necessary for chewing, speaking, or performing any other action with the mouth. Although a definitive cause to TMD has not been identified, trauma to the jaw, osteoarthritis, and dental problems are commonly associated with the development and progression of TMD. Physically, TMD develops when the cartilage within the joint becomes worn and incapable of cushioning its repetitive movements.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of TMD include the following”
- Pain in the jaw
- Pain around the ears
- Pain and discomfort when chewing, or an inability to properly chew your food
- Aching pain in the face
- Developing “lock-jaw”
Treatment of TMD
Many with TMD experience mild symptoms of the disorder, and symptoms tend to resolve on their own within a few weeks without treatment. However, some may develop chronic pain and symptomatic TMD. If dental problems exist, such as cavities, broken teeth, or gingivitis, they must be treated first to eliminate them as causes of TMD. At this point, intervention is necessary. According to the publication, “Management and Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders: A Clinical Perspective,” self-management of TMD symptoms include limiting the use of muscles in the TMJ joint for periods of time. This allows the muscles to rest and recuperate, which includes the elimination of habits contributing to TMD, such as clinching and grinding the teeth.
Physical Therapy for TMD
Depending upon the severity of the TMD pain, the practitioner may rub the TMJ to reproduce the pain. By identifying the exact motion causing the most significant pain, the practitioner may develop a treatment plan for the disorder. Common physical therapies for TMD management include performing range of motion exercises for the joint, stretching on the joint, and performing physical therapy to the joints in the back of the neck
A Dental Splint
A dental splint may help prevents teeth grinding and repetitive motions when you are unaware of your movements. Additionally, patients with pain upon waking up may be sleeping on their stomach, which places pressure on the face and TMJ. The dentist may prescribe medication to help with the pain during treatment of TMD as well.
If you have experienced pain in your jaw upon waking up, when resting, or when chewing and speaking, you may be suffering from TMD. Let us at Goldstein Dental Group ease your pain and design a Temporomandibular Disorder Therapy care plan for your unique situation. We believe you should not have to live with the pain of TMD any longer.
Call 248.374.2273 to schedule an evaluation.