If you have an aching jaw or one that occasionally pops, you may ask yourself, “Do I have TMJ disorder?” Also known as TMD, over ten million people currently experience the symptoms of this serious jaw joint disorder. However, despite the severity of the issue there are steps patients can take to alleviate symptoms and dental practices across the country offer a comfortable and non-invasive treatment solution.
How do you know if you need treatment for the disorder? You may encounter a series of uncomfortable symptoms in and around the head and jaw, such as:
- Popping or cracking sensation in the jaw
- Jaw pain
- Neck/shoulder discomfort
Many patients also grind their teeth, either as a result of the pressure on the jaw joints or as a factor behind the onset of TMD. If you grind or clench your teeth then you may also develop tooth sensitivity or a persistent toothache.
What Causes TMD?
Our jaw joints, also known as temporomandibular joints, connect to the skull and allow the range of motion necessary to eat and speak. When the joints endure pressure, the strain can lead to the onset of TMD. Common causes of this pressure may include injury to the jaw, bruxism (teeth grinding), malocclusion, or tooth loss. In order to treat the problem a dentist will need to carefully exam your teeth and jaws to assess the cause of the issue and severity.
What are My Treatment Options?
If misalignment is the cause of your jaw joint problems, then you may need to seek orthodontic treatment. You can also have missing teeth replaced or damaged teeth repaired with restorations. You can also ease the discomfort by placing a warm compress against the side of the face or performing a set of muscle exercises daily. We can also ease the strain with an oral appliance, which will be worn at night and can reposition the joints.
ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX PREVENTIVE DENTIST
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, please contact us at (254) 776-4888. Our office welcomes patients living in Waco, Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and Central Texas.