Dental pain can be debilitating and severely impact your quality of life. While this pain may be caused by damage to your teeth and gums, this is not always the case. Another common cause of oral pain is temporomandibular joint disorder or temporomandibular disorder, often referred to as TMJ/TMD. If you are experiencing TMD, our team at Rockton Dental can help with our advanced treatment options.
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular disorder is a condition that causes chronic pain in the TMJ and associated muscles. This disorder has several symptoms but has to be diagnosed by a professional. Common symptoms include pain or tenderness in the joint of your jaw on one or both sides. In some cases, the jaw may even feel as if it is locked-up, making it difficult for you to open or close it.
The exact cause of TMD is not known, but there are several commonly identified risk factors in patients that are experiencing TMD symptoms. If you have suffered a traumatic injury to your face or jaw, this event can be the source of TMD. Another risk factor is if you have developed arthritis, specifically rheumatoid arthritis.
TMD symptoms may also be related to Bruxism, or the involuntary grinding of teeth during your sleep cycle. Grinding teeth is a separate, but related condition that can result in significant damage to your teeth in addition to jaw pain. During your visit, our team will address the cause of your symptoms to provide much needed relief and improve your quality of life.
How Is TMD Treated?
There are several treatment options for TMD. Our professionals will likely prescribe one or more medications to provide you with short-term relief while they explore non-invasive treatment options. They may provide you with a prescription for high-strength ibuprofen or more powerful pain relievers if your pain is not being managed with over-the-counter drugs.
Tricyclic antidepressants are another prescription medication that is sometimes effective in treating Bruxism and TMD. This group of medications are primarily used to treat depression but can treat your TMD symptoms in low doses. They may also aid in treating sleeplessness, which is a common symptom in patients with severe cases of TMD. Muscle relaxers may also be used to provide immediate relief when you are experiencing severe muscle spasms.
In order to provide more lasting treatment, our team will likely recommend the use of a nighttime mouthguard. Our team custom-makes these by taking a mold of your teeth. These mouth guards have a high success rate for treating TMD and are designed to be worn during your entire sleep cycle. If the mouthguard is ineffective, then surgery may be considered as a last resort.
Surgical treatments for your TMD range from injections of corticosteroid or Botox to open-joint surgery. Our team generally uses a progressive approach to treat your TMD symptoms and will almost always start with less invasive options.
If you are suffering from TMD, there is no need to suffer in silence. Our team at Rockton Dental can provide short term relief while exploring longer-term treatment options to improve your quality of life and rid you of chronic discomfort. You can schedule your appointment by calling us at (815) 624-3269.