If you have a certain type of jaw pain, you may not even know what to call what you have. Dentists have called it TMJ for years, but that’s not quite right. TMJ is the name of the jaw joint – the temporomandibular joint. When there’s something wrong with it, it’s called TMD – or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome.
It really doesn’t matter what you call it, however. This jaw condition is often painful and always annoying, sometimes causing severe headaches, jaw pain that can range from minor to intense, teeth grinding, ear ringing and more.
But what many TMD sufferers don’t realize is that effective treatments are available now, and our team at Brighton Dental in San Diego can help you get over TMD so you can get on with a pain-free and productive life.
A Better Life Is Our Top Priority
Everything Dr. Woods and our team do for you is intended to improve your overall health and well-being, getting rid of pain and discomfort so you’re life is better. We can test you and determine if you have TMJ dysfunction and craft a treatment plan that will solve the problem.
And solving it is important. When you have TMD, something as simple as a little extra stress can bring on intense symptoms, including dizziness, neck pain and, of course, severe jaw pain and throbbing head pain.
The most common cause of TMD is a bad bite – that is, misaligned teeth. This can be solved without surgery in most cases.
Nighttime or daytime teeth grinding can be considered both a cause of TMD and a result of it, depending on your situation. When you grind your teeth. The enamel and dentin can eventually be worn away, causing several tooth problems, usually involving more than a single tooth. When left untreated, things can get even worse. Your jawbone can erode away and teeth can loosen. That means that TMD must be treated as early as possible to prevent complications.
Treatment Is Available For TMD
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome can be treated, but the exact treatment must be customized for you because TMD can actually be the result of several different problems. We start with a series of x-rays to determine the health and condition of the jaw as well as an examination of your bite. And of course, we listen to your description of your symptoms to look for clues and causes.
We can discuss with you ways to reduce physical and emotional stress, and we can prescribe muscle relaxants if absolutely necessary to deal with your TMD symptoms. A wide range of other treatments is possible as well.
Bite realignment can be an important part of alleviating your TMJ dysfunction symptoms. This can include braces or Invisalign trays in some cases, and it may also include reshaping teeth to change how they meet. While this involves reshaping healthy teeth that aren’t damaged – which isn’t ideal – the effectiveness of this procedure can’t be denied.
Mouth guards and other dental appliances can help with TMD in some cases, but the effectiveness of this type of treatment varies depending on the cause of your symptoms and their severity. Plus, we find some patients are unwilling to wear or use guards.
Learn more about TMD treatment on the TMJ Dysfunction page of our website.
And learn more from speaking with our team of experts. A jaw problem isn’t something you have to live with. Treatments are available that can dramatically lessen your symptoms and allow you to live a normal life. At Brighton Dental, we want you to feel good, look good and have a good life.