Jaw pain can be debilitating, but you don’t have to suffer. The team at Oxford Dental Group is trained in the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD, which is a leading cause of jaw pain in adults.
If you experience pain, stiffness, jaw clicking, or other symptoms of TMD, visit with our dental team in Oxford, CT. We will assess your symptoms and come up with the right treatment plan to have you laughing, eating, and smiling with ease once again.
What Is The TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is your jaw joint. It’s the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth, which means it’s the joint that lets you eat, talk, and so much more. It connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone in your skull. You have a temporomandibular joint on either side of your face, just in front of each ear.
What Is TMD?
When your jaw joint becomes irritated—whether due to injury, overuse, or some other stressor, it can cause temporomandibular joint dysfunction, commonly called TMD. This irritation can lead to extreme jaw and facial discomfort, clicking and locking of the jaw, and a number of other issues.
Signs & Symptoms Of TMD
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, let us know at your next appointment, so we can do a more thorough TMD evaluation.
- Discomfort in the jaw joint that may or may not extend to the neck
- A stiff jaw
- Limited range of motion in the jaw
- Locking jaw joint
- Popping, clicking, or grating of the jaw joint
- Regular headaches
TMD can sometimes look like another condition, like an earache, a run-of-the-mill headache, or an occasional popping sound when yawning. It’s important to mention these issues during your appointment, so we can do an in-depth exam of your facial muscles and joints, and even take x-rays, to find out if you need treatment for TMD.
Causes & Risk Factors Associated With TMD
The main causes of TMD are misalignment of the joint, erosion of the cartilage, and injury to the joint, although many times, the exact cause is unknown. While anyone can develop TMD, there are some risk factors that put certain people at a higher risk of developing this uncomfortable disorder. These include:
- Chronic teeth clenching or grinding
- Connective tissue diseases
- Chronic pain conditions
Treatment For TMD
If we determine that you have TMD, we will start a treatment plan as soon as possible to relieve your discomfort. Early-stage treatment includes the use of a custom-made mouth guard (called an orthotic appliance), OTC anti-inflammatory medications, exercises targeting your jaw joint, and stress management. If a second stage is needed, we may recommend restorative dental work like crowns, orthodontics, and other options in order to correct your bite and give your joint more ideal alignment.
Relief Is Within Reach
Experience relief from jaw joint discomfort at Oxford Dental Group. Our team of friendly and knowledgeable professionals is dedicated to evaluating and treating TMD, ensuring the best plan tailored to your needs. Give us a call today!