At Santa Fe Dental in Edmond, OK, our experienced dentists, Dr. Michael Hansen and Dr. Ryan Flake, understand the pain and discomfort that can come with TMD (temporomandibular disorder) and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues. These conditions can affect your jaw and cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty eating or speaking. We offer effective TMD treatment to help alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
What is TMD?
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull, allowing you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. TMD refers to a range of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint and the muscles that control the jaw. TMD can be caused by various factors, including injury, arthritis, teeth grinding or clenching, and stress.
Symptoms of TMD can include:
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw joint or muscles
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Aching pain in or around your ear
- Headaches or neck pain
- Difficulty chewing or discomfort while eating
- Swelling on one or both sides of your face
What is TMJ?
TMJ specifically refers to the temporomandibular joint itself. TMJ issues can cause pain and discomfort in the joint, making it difficult to move your jaw and speak or eat comfortably. TMJ issues are often a result of injury or inflammation in the joint but can also be caused by arthritis or misalignment of the teeth or jaw.
TMD and TMJ Treatment at Santa Fe Dental
At Santa Fe Dental, we offer effective TMD and TMJ treatment to help alleviate your pain and discomfort. Our experienced dentists will perform a comprehensive exam to evaluate the health of your jaw joint and surrounding muscles and recommend a personalized treatment plan based on your unique needs.
Treatment options may include:
Orthopedic and Orthodontic treatment: Aligning the teeth and making sure the bones line up properly is the most efficient way to get to the root cause of most jaw joint issues.
Mouthguards or Splints: These devices can help protect your teeth and alleviate symptoms caused by teeth grinding or clenching.
Physical Therapy: Gentle exercises and massage can help relax the muscles and improve jaw movement.
Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers or muscle relaxants may be recommended to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Dental Work: Correcting misalignment of the teeth or replacing missing teeth can help alleviate TMJ symptoms.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to repair or replace the joint.
If left untreated, TMD can cause various complications and make it difficult to eat, speak, and function normally. Over time, the constant strain on your jaw muscles and joints can cause the joint to deteriorate, leading to chronic pain and discomfort. In severe cases, untreated TMD can cause permanent damage to the joint, making it difficult or impossible to open and close your mouth.
In addition to physical symptoms, untreated TMD can affect your emotional and psychological well-being. Chronic pain and discomfort can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and social isolation, making it difficult to enjoy your daily life. Seeking timely treatment for TMD can help alleviate your symptoms and prevent long-term complications, improving your overall quality of life.
What Happens if You Don't Treat TMD?
If you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, you can do a few things at home to help alleviate your pain and discomfort before your appointment with our TMD specialists at Santa Fe Dental. First, try to avoid hard, chewy, or crunchy foods that can put extra strain on your jaw muscles and joint. Try applying a warm compress or ice pack to the affected area to help reduce inflammation and ease pain. Gentle jaw exercises and relaxation techniques, such as yoga or deep breathing, can also help reduce muscle tension and improve your range of motion. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help alleviate pain and discomfort. However, it is essential to remember that these at-home remedies are temporary solutions and should not be used as a substitute for professional treatment.
At-Home Treatments to Alleviate Stress and Pain
TMD/TMJ Therapy in Edmond, OK
If you are experiencing symptoms of TMD or TMJ, don’t suffer in silence. Our team at Santa Fe Dental can help diagnose and treat your condition, improving your quality of life and restoring your oral health. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Allen, Dr. Michael Hansen, or Dr. Ryan Flake.