The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are two joints that connect your jawbone to your skull. The TMJs and attached muscles move your jaw up and down and from side to side, allowing you to open your mouth, talk, and chew comfortably. Problems with the TMJs, jaw, and surrounding muscles are known collectively as temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). At Total Dental Care, our Columbia, SC dentist offers TMJ treatment.
What Causes TMD?
The newest topic in dentistry which I've had extensive training in is called sleep dentistry. There are new effective appliances that will allow you to sleep well, prevent snoring and prevent grinding of teeth. If you or your spouse is a snorer, we have a solution for you. If you have sleep apnea, I will partner with your physician to get you a better night sleep.
The cause of TMD can be clear, like bite problems, arthritis that causes inflammation and swelling of the joints, habitual jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism), and a blow to the face that causes dislocation of the TMJ. Sometimes the cause is mysterious, and you may complain of head and neck pain that does not go away. Other common symptoms of TMD are:
- Pain in the jaw joints
- Pain in and around the ear
- Limited ability to open and close the mouth
- Popping or clicking sounds when you bite and chew
- Painful cheeks and facial muscles
If you experience these symptoms, make sure to see your Columbia, SC dentist right away.
Diagnosis And Treatment
TMD may be related to sinus problems, arthritis, sleep apnea, and other conditions, so Dr. Forbes will conduct a thorough physical examination and patient history to determine exactly what is causing the problem. Evaluation may include diagnostic X-rays, CT scan, or MRI.
TMD or TMJ treatment can be conservative, surgical, or a combination of therapies. Most experts recommend starting with conservative approaches like lifestyle changes and stress management before considering surgery. Patients with bruxism may be fitted with a splint or night guard to correct the bite and prevent teeth grinding.
Bruxism Mouthguards To Curb Your TMJ Pain
The main way that we put an end to TMDs and teeth grinding is through a bruxism mouthguard. This type of mouthguard is made to be worn while you sleep at night and will not have a major effect on your sleep once you get used to wearing it. The bruxism mouthguard keeps your upper and lower jaw apart. By doing this, it doesn’t allow you to grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth is a main cause of TMDs because it puts unnecessary pressure on your TMJ. Also, if you clench your jaw when you are sleeping, the mouthguard will lighten the pressure on your TMJ because the mouthguard is soft and absorbs most of the pressure from clenching your jaw. If you wear this mouthguard regularly, you can say goodbye to any more pain in your TMJ. You’ll feel like a brand-new person once you have kicked your TMJ pain to the curb!
Migraine and Headache Solutions
If you suffer from migraines or headaches, you know that they can be a debilitating condition. At Total Dental Care, our bruxism mouthguards can ease the pain from headaches that are brought on by grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw.
Don’t wait for TMD to get worse. See Dr. Forbes today for accurate TMD diagnosis and TMJ treatment. If you are interested in remedying your TMD with a bruxism mouthguard, call our Columbia, SC dentist office at 803-272-4162 or schedule a consultation online without picking up the phone. We can’t wait to get rid of your TMJ pain!