If you are experiencing problems with your TMJ, you could have a disorder. Known as TMD, TMJ actually refers to the joint. Temporomandibular disorder can be quite painful, but unfortunately, not all people are aware of the disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, some signs that you may be suffering from TMD include tooth clenching and tooth grinding.
You may be suffering from TMD if you:
- Experience tenderness or pain in your jaw joints
- Have pain or tenderness in your neck and shoulders, jaw joints, jaw joint area, your face or around your ears
- Problems opening and closing your mouth
- Jaws the lock or stick when you leave your mouth in an opened or closed position
- Popping, grating or clicking sounds in your jaw joints when you close and open your mouth or when you chew
- Facial tenderness or tiredness
- Problems chewing
- An uncomfortable bite
- Facial swelling
If you have headaches, toothaches, dizziness, neck aches, earaches, hearing problems, ringing in the ears, or pain in your upper shoulders, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ringer who can help determine if your temporomandibular joint is causing you problems.
Although the root cause of TMD is uncertain, Dentists believe that symptoms from TMD arise from problems with the TMJ joint or the jaw. If you have experienced a jaw injury such as a heavy blow to the face or experienced whiplash, you may be at risk for temporomandibular joint disorder.
Other issues that may cause TMD include:
- Tooth clenching or grinding which puts pressure on the TMJ
- Movement of the disc that sits between your socket and ball of the joint itself
- Soft cushion movement
- TMJ arthritis
- Stress, which can cause you to tighten your jaw muscles, tighten your facial muscles or unconsciously clench your teeth
How is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?
Like other conditions, TMD can also include other symptoms such as gum disease, arthritis, sinus problems, or tooth decay. In order to come up with a proper diagnosis, Dr. Ringer will check the joints in your jaw for tenderness, pain, or swelling. Dr. Ringer will listen for grating, pops, and clicks when you open and close your jaw and move it side to side. Dr. Ringer will also make sure that there is no locking when you open, close, and check your bite for facial muscle problems.
Depending on what he finds, Dr. Ringer may or may not take full face x-rays of your TMJ, teeth and your jaw. Other tests such as a CT scan or an MRI may also be completed, as the CT scan will show any problems with bone the bone while an MRI can show Dr. Ringer if the disc is in its proper position when you move your jaw.
If you are diagnosed with TMD Dr. Ringer suggests over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen or NSAIDs for relief. Other home treatments that may help your TMJ disorder include:
Hot and Cold Packs
Hot or cold packs applied to both sides of your face and temple for ten minutes. If Dr. Ringer recommends them do some jaw stretches and when completed hold a warm washcloth or towel to the sides of your face for another five minutes. Do this every day for muscle pain and swelling.
Enjoy soup, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, yogurt, fish scrambled eggs, cooked veggies and fruit, cooked grains and beans to your daily menu. Cut your food into smaller pieces making your chew less. Avoid chewy and crunchy foods and foods that make you open your mouth wide when enjoying.
Dr. Ringer may prescribe anti-anxiety, muscle relaxants, or anti-depressants to relieve stress, which can result in temporomandibular disorder.
Oral Appliance Therapy
According to licensed sleep appliance therapy provider Dr. Jack Ringer, TMD can be helped using oral appliance therapy. Dr. Ringer is a preferred oral appliance therapy provider in Anaheim Hills and can meet with you to discuss your possible options if you have been diagnosed with TMD.
Depending on your particular case, Dr. Ringer may prescribe a night guard or splint. A splint should be worn all of the time while night guards are worn when you sleep.
Dr. Ringer may replace missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or crowns or recommend braces or clear plastic tooth aligners to balance your bite and the surfaces on your teeth.
If you believe you are suffering from TMD, call or click and schedule a no obligation TMJ consultation with Dr. Jack Ringer.
You really can get a good night’s sleep. Call for a TMJ Disorder consultation today.