Do you find yourself struggling with chronic headaches? Perhaps you frequently experience discomfort or pain in your teeth, face, neck or head in general? It is possible that you suffer from TMD.
Our Katy, TX dentists will complete a full examination of your teeth, gums and jaw in order to come up with the right diagnosis. If you have TMD, we can offer you several solutions to meet your individual needs.
If you have pain in your teeth or in your jaw call us today at Wilson Dentistry to schedule an appointment!
What is TMJ? What is TMD?
The two terms TMD and TMJ are often used interchangeably, but there is a key difference between them. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) refers strictly to the jaw joint. TMD temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to concerns that impact the joint in your jaw - including misalignment or inflammation.
How Do the Temporomandibular Joints Work?
The temporomandibular joints, or the TMJ's, can be thought of as sliding hinges that are located on each side of your head. They connect your jaw to your skull. The joints work together when you speak, chew, or swallow.
TMJ's are unique in that they allow for a wide range of motion, which is necessary for speech and eating functions. They allow your jaw to open up, shift from side to side, and to move in a forward and backward direction.
Each temporomandibular joint is a ball and socket joint, with a disk between them. This disc is important - as it cushions against the pressure that comes from opening the jaw, or making any type of movement with the jaw.
Any concern that interferes with the successful function of the TMJ could result in an uncomfortable disorder, or TMD, and these disorders are fairly common.
Characterizations of TMD
There are several signs that you may be struggling with a temporomandibular disorder.
||Your jaw may periodically get stuck, or feel locked up, when it' either in the closed or open position.
||There could be accompanying discomfort in the joint, whether you'e using it or not.
||You could also experience trouble eating, as a result of your bite being misaligned.
||One of the classic signs of TMD is a clicking or popping sound heard when you both open and close your mouth. This could also be accompanied by some discomfort.
||Many do experience concerns with chronic headaches or migraines, which can be very disruptive.
||Perhaps one of the most concerning issues to be aware of is that TMD can result in damage to your teeth, due to the pressure applied to them when you're asleep and grinding your teeth. This is known as bruxism.
What Causes TMD?
Many TMD cases are the result of stress. We all carry our stress in our own way. For some, the anxiety and increased stress can manifest in the TMJ. This can contribute to increased tension, which can then in turn lead to teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Bruxism can be potentially serious as it can result in damage to the teeth.
Some of the other factors that can be responsible for TMD may include misalignment in the bite, teeth being impacted, an injury, poor posture and even arthritis.
During your appointment with your dentist, you should discuss your concerns so that a diagnosis can be made. With a thorough examination, including [[[page:x-rays, your dentist will be able to gain a bit more insight into what might be causing your symptoms.
If your TMD is not extensive and severe, there are some options to consider for treatment.
First and foremost, you should take steps to reduce your anxiety and stress levels. The use of compresses, both hot and cold interchangeably, can offer some relief from the discomfort. Avoiding chewing gum is important. The constant chewing and pressure from the gum chewing can potentially aggravate your TMJ.
A custom-fit oral appliance worn during sleep can help to minimize some of the effects that you are experiencing when you clench your jaw and grind your teeth in your sleep. This oral appliance could just mean the difference between a good night of rest, waking up free from discomfort, and the way you're feeling today.
Book a Consultation with Your Katy, TX Dentists Today!
Call Wilson Dentistry at (346) 340-5440 to schedule a consultation. This appointment could just be the solution you are looking for. We will conduct a comprehensive examination and offer you the right solutions to meet your dental and general wellness needs.