TemproMandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) is a common disorder affecting a wide variety of people. TMD is commonly characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, worn loose teeth, tooth pain, an uncomfortable bite, and/or clicking and popping of one or both joints. The vast majority of TMD sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that a dentist can effectively treat.
The symptoms of TMD can be debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well-being of the patient is at the heart of our dental practice, so pain relief is the first consideration of Dr. Spring. Dr. Spring is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.
Reasons for treating TMD
If left untreated, there are a few consequences that may occur. Examples are that you may have limited jaw opening; or that some or all of your teeth may become extremely worn, which may necessitate extensive dental work to repair; or that there can be permanent changes within the jaw joint that could get debilitating; or something in between.
TMD sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain, ringing in the ears and dizziness.
The most common cause of TMD is the misalignment of the teeth and the jaw joints which cause disharmony of the jaw opening and closing muscles. So the most common cause of TMD is muscle related. It is possible for Dr. Spring to realign the teeth and jaw joints to reduce and/or eliminate your TMD symptoms.
The grinding and clenching of the teeth, called bruxism, is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding and clenching can wear away the structure of the teeth which can lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMD is one of the prime underlying factors in small, severely worn teeth.
It is important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of TMD to visit Dr. Spring for a comprehensive exammination.
What does treating TMD involve?
TMD could be a result of several different problems. Initially, Dr. Spring will thoroughly examine the teeth, the jaw joints, your bite, the chewing muscles, take any necessary x-rays, and review your medical and dental history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.
A diagnosis is tested usually with a nightguard before a treatment plan can be determined. A nightguard is a specially molded bite guard designed to protect the teeth from grinding at night but also allows the chewing muscles to return to their normal state. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, a treatment plan that is appropriate for you can be determined.
Dr. Spring will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about TMD.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment for evaluation.