Experiencing Jaw Discomfort? See a Dentist ASAP
Visit a Dental Clinic for Temporomandibular Disorder Treatment
Ask any dentist, and they will tell you that the human mouth is a complicated thing. Between the teeth, the gums, and the jawbone, there is so much that could potentially become an issue if not tended to right away—and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is one of them. Your temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your skull, and works like a hinge. A healthy joint means smooth, seamless jaw movements, including eating, chewing, talking, and even yawning. However, TMD can make these movements more difficult, and you may need to seek treatment at a dental clinic.
Symptoms of TMD
Fewer than half of all people suffering TMD actually experience pain in their jaw, making it difficult to recognize that help is needed. If you experience any of the following, call your dentist to make an appointment:
- Your jaw pops, cracks, or clicks when you move it
- Your jaw becomes locked
- You have difficulty opening your mouth wide or chewing
- Unexpected discomfort when biting down
- Difficulty aligning your teeth properly
- Pain in your facial muscles, neck, or shoulders
- Buzzing in your ears
These are all potential signs of temporomandibular disorder, and a diagnosis can help determine the course of treatment.
The first step in treating TMD is a proper diagnosis at a dental clinic, especially since there are other common oral health issues which can cause similar symptoms, and it is important not to administer the wrong treatment, lest more damage be caused. If, after careful examination and potentially X-rays, your dentist has determined that you have TMD, the next stage is determining the severity. Surgical treatments are only required in the most severe cases.
For minor cases, your dentist may recommend that you be fitted for a mouth guard to wear while you sleep, to help avoid bruxism (grinding of the teeth). You may also be prescribed medication, and provided a list of suggestions for behavioural and lifestyle changes that can mitigate the discomfort, such as eating soft foods, improving your posture, and minimizing jaw movement, among others. You may also require restorative dental work such as crowns, implants, and even orthodontics to improve the evenness of your bite.
In severe cases, surgery may be the best course of treatment. Surgeries range from removing damaged or inflamed tissue or debris from the joint, to open-joint surgery.
If you are experiencing or develop any symptoms relating to temporomandibular disorder, please consult a professional immediately. Contact your dental clinic to make an appointment. It is only by way of proper diagnosis that your condition can properly be treated and further damage mitigated.