Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, is a painful condition affecting the muscles and joints that control jaw movement. The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your skull, and it is the main hinge that allows you to open and close your mouth. An issue with the muscles or the joint itself can create pain that makes opening and closing your mouth difficult. It can also lead to other problems, such as headaches and tinnitus.
Causes of TMD include grinding your teeth at night, arthritis in the joint, and misalignment of the bite. By visiting our dentist regularly at Dr. Edward D. Dallam, DDS, for checkups and cleanings, you can help reduce the chance of developing TMD and maintain oral health. Additionally, avoid clenching your jaw and placing excessive stress on your upper and lower teeth by practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using mouthwash as recommended by your dentist.
In mild cases of TMD, self-care measures can help relieve symptoms. This may include eating soft foods, avoiding hard or chewy foods, practicing stress management techniques, applying heat or cold packs to the affected area, and practicing gentle jaw exercises.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with TMD. Sometimes, your dentist or doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or other medications to alleviate muscle tension and pain.
Custom-made oral splints or mouthguards can be used to help alleviate TMD symptoms. These devices are typically worn over the teeth and help reposition the jaw and reduce grinding or clenching habits. They can also help protect the teeth from further damage.
Physical therapy techniques can be effective in managing TMD. These may include exercises to strengthen and stretch the jaw muscles, massage therapy, and ultrasound therapy to alleviate muscle tension and improve jaw mobility.
If you experience any of the symptoms of TMD, visit Dr. Edward D. Dallam, DDS, at 5000 W. 95TH STREET, SUITE 300, Prairie Village 66207, or call (913) 649-0310to schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible for treatment recommendations.