TMJ TMD Overview
Your lower jaw is connected to your head by a powerful and flexible joint known as the temporomandibular joint. Sometimes, this is referred to as the TMJ. However, when this joint causes pain or discomfort, many also say that the issue is TMJ, or TMD (temporomandibular disorder). Either way, it is a very uncomfortable matter, and at Authentic Smiles in Austin, TX, we have TMJ or TMD treatment available.
The symptoms of TMD are far more than basic jaw pain, and if you experience any of the issues below, we suggest you visit us as your dentist in Austin, TX in order to be assessed for TMJ issues:
- Locking of the jaw when it is opened or closed
- Noises such as loud pops or clicks when you open or close the mouth
- Discomfort or pain when chewing or yawning
- Headaches, particularly in the morning upon waking
- Ear pain or aches
- Tooth pain or aches not due to actual dental issues
- Swelling in the face or jaw area
- Pain in the upper area of the neck
- Dizziness that cannot be explained by another cause
You may also experience bruxism, which is grinding the teeth and which can also cause a long list of dental problems ranging from cracking and chipping of the teeth to uneven wear and decay.
Why people develop TMD is actually a bit of a medical mystery. It could be due to stress and behaviors like bruxism that irritate the joint, or it could be an entirely different reason. The point is that any inflammation and pain that appears in the TMJ area can often cause TMD.
Fortunately, we can help. Because it is a dental issue, we have dental appliances that can prevent the clenching of the teeth to be controlled. Instead of leading to pain, when you wear an oral device as you sleep, the muscles may still react, but the pain and irritation do not occur. Your teeth are guarded against harm, and the inflammation can subside.
Naturally, you may need some over the counter pain relief, compresses to help with swelling, and stress relief techniques, but the ideal place to begin is in our office, where we can develop the best TMD treatment plans.
If you have additional questions about TMJ or TMD, or about any of the other issues mentioned here, give us a call at our Austin, TX office at 512-330-9403. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.