Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a painful condition that affects the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull, also known as the temporomandibular joint. TMD can often be treated with a combination of self-care and dental treatments.
Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is caused by several factors. The alignment of the jaw and teeth, as well as the health and condition of the jaw and surrounding muscles and tissues, can all contribute to TMD. Some of the other causes are teeth grinding, hereditary conditions, chewing on pen caps, chewing gum frequently, etc.
TMJ disorders can also stem from trauma, such as a blow to the jaw, or from teeth grinding. Some patients don’t even realize they are grinding or clenching their teeth, but others may notice a clicking or popping sound when opening or closing their mouths.
Temporomandibular joint disorder can cause patients to experience a number of symptoms. While some patients may not experience any symptoms, others might suffer from frequent headaches, difficulty chewing, jaw pain, and lockjaw. Diagnosing TMJ disorder usually starts with a thorough dental examination.
Surgical TMJ Treatment
If your TMJ disorder is so severe that it interferes with the functions of your jaw and mouth, you may need surgery. Surgical TMD treatment involves releasing or otherwise adjusting the muscles and joints around your jaw. This can help to correct misalignments and improve your bite, preventing tooth wear and TMJ pain.
Surgical TMD treatment may also be recommended if your bite is not properly aligned after completing orthodontic treatment. Dentists usually recommend surgery for severe cases. This is not a common treatment for TMJ disorders and is usually only recommended if more conservative treatments like mouth guards, medication, and physical therapy have been ineffective.
Non-surgical treatments for TMJ Disorder
If you develop TMJ disorder, our dentist in Albuquerque NM may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Bite guard: A bite guard is a removable oral appliance that can help realign your bite and prevent teeth grinding. This device is typically worn at night.
- Bite adjustment: Bite adjustment involves moving the biting surfaces of your teeth closer together. This can help to reduce stress on your jaw. Adjustments can be completed using crowns, braces, or tooth bonding.
- Botox: Botox for TMJ is injected into the muscles around the jaw to relax the muscles and relieve tension that may be causing your jaw pain. It is a quick, minimally invasive procedure that has very little downtime.
To find out more about the dental services offered by our dentist in Albuquerque NM, Dr.Alicia Abeyta and Dr. Laura Snyder, call (505)-293-7611 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 4830 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Ste. K, Albuquerque, NM, 87111.