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TMJ/TMD


Woman holding jaw due to TMJ pain

Understanding TMJ Problems and Possible Dental Solutions


The TMJ (temporomandibular joints) plays an important role in your dental health. The joints ensure the proper working of the bones, muscles, ligaments, and disks found in your head, which is what allows you to eat, speak, laugh, and even yawn. However, it is possible for these joints to become impaired for one reason or another, leading to a condition commonly known as TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). When this happens, your oral health can be greatly affected. However, it is possible to find relief or even remedy the condition through the use of various dental solutions. At Dublin Family Dental, we offer a wide range of TMD solutions, which helps to ensure that your TMJ problems are remedied.

What Causes TMD?


TMD is characterized by the dysfunction of the TMJ joints, which causes severe pain to the joints, the jawbone, and the surrounding muscles. The dysfunction of the joints makes it hard or even impossible to perform basic functions such as chewing, talking, laughing, opening your mouth, etc. The resulting pain can also be extremely uncomfortable, to the extent of completely interrupting your day-to-day activities.

The condition can be brought about by some reasons, such as:
•  Excessive tooth grinding and clenching - which applies too much pressure to the TM joints.
•  Stress, anxiety, and depression - which causes the facial muscles or the jaws to tighten.
•  A traumatic injury to the jaw or head that damages the jawbone or causes the dislocation of the discs found in the joints.
•  Diseases that affect muscle joints - for example, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
•  Uneven bites and misaligned teeth.

TMD Signs and Symptoms


It is possible to tell if you have TMD from the following signs and symptoms of the condition:
•  Pain in the jaw and the surrounding muscles.
•  Severe headaches and pain in and around the ears.
•  Problems with opening or closing your mouth.
•  Popping or clicking noises in the jaw.
•  Pain when chewing, talking, laughing, and yawning.

A proper diagnosis during a dental appointment is, however, the only accurate way to tell if you have TMD. It is thus important to seek immediate dental care if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Treatment Solutions for TMD


TMD affects patients differently. In some people, it can be mild, with the pain and discomfort fading over time. In others, the pain can worsen over time and become unbearable. This, combined with the several possible causative factors, makes the treatment vary from one person to another.

There are several treatment solutions which are aimed at offering relief from the pain, managing the condition, or rectifying the damage to the joints. Possible treatments can include:
•  Behavioral change to avoid behaviors that can be destructive to the TM joints - for example, avoiding eating hard foods, excessive jaw movements (yawning, singing, yelling), chewing gum, etc. Positive behavioral changes, for example, practicing relaxation of the jaw muscles, can also help to ease the pain.
•  Medication to relieve the pain and inflammation of the surrounding muscles.
•  A night guard to reduce or prevent grinding and clenching - which could be causing the TMD.
•  Orthodontic treatments to correct uneven bites or misaligned teeth.
•  Corrective jaw surgery to fix damage to the jawbone.

Are you experiencing pain in the jaws or around your facial muscles? You could be suffering from TMD. At Dublin Family Dental we can offer you several solutions to help manage the condition. Call us today at (925) 587-4417 to schedule an appointment.

Office hours


Mon - Thurs: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Fri - Sun: Closed

Location


8265 Village Parkway
Dublin, CA 94568

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