June 25, 2014
TMJD – a Painful and Pervasive Jaw Disorder
Most people are vaguely aware of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD), but fewer people know exactly what it is and the symptoms that are associated with it. TMJD is a disorder that affects the muscles, nerves and joints around the jawbone. Left untreated, TMJD can lead to long-term pain and damage to these vital systems. Jaw pain is one of the biggest signs of TMJD.
However, there are some TMJD issues that almost no one knows about. Some of these symptoms include:
- Pain in the jaw when yawning, biting or chewing
- Neck aches
- Trouble with opening or closing one’s mouth
- Popping noises in the jaw area
- Jaw soreness or tenderness
All of these symptoms can indicate a possible diagnosis for TMJD. In addition, the disorder can be caused in unlikely ways. Arthritis sufferers often develop TMJD due to their condition, while people with anxiety disorders or issues with stress may develop the condition because they subconsciously gnash their teeth while awake or do so at night. People with an overbite or an underbite may also develop TMJD over time.
Treatment for TMJD
TMJD treatment involves a number of different therapies, and each will differ due to how and why the patient is experiencing these symptoms. Some patients who experience TMJD are offered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) if their dentist believes that the disorder is a result of stress or anxiety. In other instances, an occlusal splint may be prescribed to the patient. This is a device that is molded to each patient’s upper or lower teeth. These splints help keep the patient’s teeth in place, so less stress is placed on the muscles of the jaw. These must be specially fitted at a dentist’s office. Other treatment methods include physical therapy and pain management through the use of medication.
A dental office for TMJD will usually avoid the use of jaw-altering procedures such as surgery as these methods of TMJD treatment are often unnecessary. However, they may be recommended if a patient does not experience any significant improvement after trying other treatment methods.
Visit the Dental Office of Dr. Johnston Today!
Anyone who is experiencing what they believe to be TMJD issues should make an appointment with the office of Dr. Johnston in order to investigate the issue. His dedicated dental office for TMJD can diagnose and treat a patient’s problems, so they can go on to live healthy, happy and pain-free lives.
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