Himachal Dental


Relief From Painful TMD

Posted in Oral Surgery by UK Dental Tourism on January 4, 2010
Tags: , , ,

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for  temporomandibular joint.

The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:

* Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ
* Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
* Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
* Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth

People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMD and TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Common symptoms of TMD include:

* Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
* Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
* Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
* Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain)
* A tired feeling in the face
* Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
* Swelling on the side of the face

Other common symptoms of TMD include toothaches, headaches, neckaches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).

Because many other conditions can cause similar symptoms to TMD – including a toothache, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease – your dentist will conduct a careful patient history and clinical examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.Treatments for TMD range from simple self-care practices and conservative treatments to injections and surgery. Most experts agree that treatment should begin with conservative, nonsurgical therapies first, with surgery left as the last resort. Many of the treatments listed below often work best when used in combination.

Basic treatments include *   Apply moist heat or cold packs.* Eat soft foods.* Take medication To relieve muscle pain and swelling. * Low-level laser therapy.* Wear a splint or night guard.* Undergo corrective dental treatments. * Don’t rest your chin on your hand or hold the telephone between your shoulder and ear.* Keep your teeth slightly apart as often as you can to relieve pressure on the jaw. * Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw.More Controversial Treatments for TMD include * Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).* Ultrasound treatment.* Trigger-point injections.* Radio wave therapy.
* Surgery for TMD .There are three types of surgery for TMD: arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery. The type of surgery needed depends on the TMD problem.

Our dentists are fully trained and equipped to diagnose and treat the pain of TMJ. If you are suffering from a painful face, jaw or neck and have been unable to get to the root of the problem with conventional diagnoses, make an appointment to see a dentist and ask about TMJ.

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