Here at Smiles by Bigelow, we follow the developments in TMJ disorders research closely. We have experts who can diagnose the disorders and offer approved treatment and remedies.
Temporomandibular (jaw) disorder, commonly referred to as TMD or TMJ syndrome is a condition that causes pain or discomfort at the jaw joint that enables chewing. Research in what causes these disorders and how best to treat them is still ongoing.
TMD is more common among women than among men. The main symptom is usually pain at the end of the jaw bone or the muscles that surround it. Luckily, the condition is mostly short-lived. In most cases, it occurs in occasional cycles. Many people are not aware of the condition because it is not common. Even as research continues, there are a couple of known facts about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of TMD.
TMD is characterized by radiating pain on the jaw, face, neck or shoulders. You may experience jaw movement difficulties and sometimes a complete jaw lock. Jaw locks are very rare though. Some people tend to have popping, clicking, or grating sounds when they move their jaws as well. The movement usually causes some stinging pain. TMJ disorders can also cause your jaws to become misaligned. If that happens, you will note your upper and lower teeth no longer fit in together as they normally would.
There are secondary symptoms of TMJ disorders as well. These will usually accompany one or a couple of the symptoms outlined above. You may experience headaches, dizziness, hearing disorders, or pain in the ears.
Keep in might that you could experience pain or discomfort on the jaw or facial muscles as a result of chewing for long hours, or injury. Therefore, these symptoms do not necessarily mean that you must be experiencing TMD. It is important that you seek professional help if you experience any of these symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The causes of TMD are not well defined at the moment. The signs and symptoms of TMD are not very specific either. As such, there is still no single accepted method to investigate and diagnose TMD. However, our experienced dentists can identify if you have TMD through physical examinations and exploring your description of the symptoms.
As mentioned above, research is still ongoing to develop a standard way of diagnosing TMJ disorders. We follow this research quite closely and keep up with all the developments that arise from it.
The treatment of TMD involves physical therapy or oral appliances. These are usually simple solutions that are aimed at reducing the pain or discomfort caused by the condition. You can conduct physical therapy by yourself at home. Our dentist will carefully take you through the steps of the therapy. A guard or a splint is an alternative solution as well. It prevents you from grinding or clenching your teeth, hence releasing jaw and muscle tension.
Call Smiles by Bigelow at (601) 255-2599, today if you are experiencing any discomforts or pain in your jaw or any other spot around your mouth. Our expert professionals will attend to you and offer you the best advice.