TMJ/TMD defines a group of disorders affecting the temporomandibular joint, a sliding hinge connecting your jawbones to the skull. TMD occurs when bruxism, jaw misalignment, and physical injuries cause issues with the movement of the temporomandibular joint. This leads to pain in the jaws, migraines, and grinding or popping noises in your jaw. It also causes problems with chewing and pain that worsen at night.
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People with TMJ might experience a dull, throbbing pain that sometimes can be unbearable. TMJ treatment eliminates the pain associated with TMD, so you can live a comfortable life devoid of pain, and you can chew your food without pain.
TMJ is often associated with bruxism and tooth grinding, which gradually wears down the teeth until some become smaller than the rest. Addressing TMD eliminates bruxism and teeth clenching that would otherwise ruin your smile and destroy your costly restorations.
The chronic pain from TMD can disrupt your goodnight’s sleep, leaving you weary during the day. TMJ treatment will eliminate chronic pain so you can sleep soundly all through the night. You can then wake up to productive and fulfilling days to dramatically improve your quality of life.
Your Bismarck dentist might first diagnose you with TMD/TMJ before administering any treatment. They’ll first review your medical history before conducting physical examinations and take imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, and CT scans. After diagnosis, the dentist will create a treatment plan before moving to the next step.
Dentists first start with conservative treatments for TMJ. These are treatments that don’t require extensive dental work or heavy medication. Some examples include jaw exercises, heat and cold treatments, soft diets and pain management. This should suffice for minor to moderate cases of TMD.
Dentists will consider dental treatments for severe TMJ. These treatments include dental splints, mouthguards, bite adjustments, and orthodontic devices. They might recommend surgery for severe cases of TMJ. They’ll also prescribe medication to relax your muscles and reduce muscle spasms associated with TMD.
It’s your responsibility to follow the local dentist’s instructions after treatment. This means taking your medication as prescribed and sticking to a soft diet instead of hard and crunchy foods. You should also try the stress management techniques suggested by your dentist and perform the jaw exercises daily as instructed.
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TMJ causes problems with your oral health since it leads to clenching and grinding of the teeth. This wears down the teeth, ruining your smile and compromising their structural integrity. This could lead to broken and fractured teeth that could get infected and lead to dental decay. It could also lead to bite misalignment and disrupt your chewing.
Teeth grinding and bruxism are the most common causes of TMJ, but not the only ones. TMJ can also be caused by physical trauma to the temporomandibular joint. Some forms of arthritis also cause TMD, and so does bite misalignment. Stress can also cause TMJ if you grind or clench your teeth when stressed.
The most common symptom of TMD is pain in the jaws that worsens when you chew. Other symptoms include a popping or grinding sound when you open your mouth. People with TMD also have difficulty opening their mouths and are likely to experience migraines and jaw-locking, sometimes accompanied by changes in their bite.