TMJ/TMD Treatment

TMJ/TMD Treatment

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your lower jawbone to your skull. It moves like a sliding hinge, one on each side of your face, and therefore gets a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders involving this joint and can cause pain in the joint of the jaw as well as in the muscles that control jaw movement.

Causes of TMD

TMD can be the result of a number of things, such as genetics, arthritis, or jaw injury. The exact cause of TMD can be difficult to determine. Pain from the disorder can often be the result of patients clenching or grinding their teeth, although this is not always connected with TMJ disorders.

Symptoms of TMD

There are a few signs that can tell you if you have TMD.

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
  • Locking of the jaw, causing difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms
  • A change in the alignment of the top and bottom teeth
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves

If you have any of these symptoms related to TMJ, talk to your Katy, TX dentist. They can determine whether or not a TMJ disorder is the issue and, if so, prescribe a treatment for you.

TMD Treatment in Katy, TX

Once it has been determined that a TMJ disorder is the issue, there are a few options in treating it. Many times, the pain and discomfort of a TMD is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care and nonsurgical treatments. These methods include:

  • Avoiding grinding teeth (a night guard can be helpful)
  • Avoiding constant gum chewing
  • Chewing food evenly, on both sides of your mouth
  • Relaxing your face

If these measures are not successful, medications (such as pain relievers or muscle relaxants) may be prescribed. There are also non-drug therapy options for treating TMJ and, as a last resort for those who suffer from it, surgery.