TMJ/TMD Treatments in Plano, TX
TMJ and TMD are serious issues that can impact the facial structure and result in pain. So, it is crucial to learn how they develop and how to treat them.
If you wake up with headaches or a painful jaw, you may suffer from TMD. At McDonald DDS, Dr. Edwin McDonald recommends getting quick TMJ and TMD treatments to prevent it from getting worse. We often see patients with this disorder that either gets overlooked, or they do not understand it. We are here to help you understand TMJ disorder or TMD and what you can do about it to get the relief that you need.
Understanding Your TMJ
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is referred to by this abbreviation. Many people call discomfort in their jaw TMJ, but it is the name of the joint with the disorder. The temporomandibular joints are situated next to the ears on both sides of the face. The TMJs, which help with actions like eating and talking, link the lower jawbone to the skull.
Overview of TMD
Temporomandibular joint condition is referred to as TMD. While the phrases TMD and TMJ are sometimes used interchangeably, it's vital to know the difference: dysfunction occurring in the TMJ causes TMD.
TMJ dysfunction develops when the ligaments and muscles around the jaw joints experience inflammation or irritation. Pain from the illness might be slight or intense, and it could be intermittent or persistent. It can make regular daily chores difficult as pain in your jaw can affect your overall wellbeing.
How is a TMJ Disorder Related to Sleep Apnea?
Multiple breathing gaps occur every night for patients with obstructive sleep apnea due to the airway getting obstructed. The body will constantly wake up to breathe, resulting in poor sleep quality, but it could also eventually cause heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other potentially fatal conditions.
However, suppose you experience TMJ dysfunction, which is an issue with the temporomandibular joint, which allows you to open and shut your mouth. In that case, you may have persistent discomfort in your ears, head, and jaw. Additionally, you can have trouble chewing correctly.
How, therefore, might these circumstances be related? Indeed, there might be a wide range of causes. Often a TMJ condition may be the root reason for your sleep apnea; for instance, a misaligned jaw may prevent you from breathing while you're sleeping and cause you to grind and clench your teeth. This can harm the TMJ. In certain instances, a TMJ condition may result from sleep apnea. The body automatically moves the lower jaw forward while the airway compresses.
According to research, 43% of individuals with TMJ disorders also have sleep issues. You may want to consider getting a sleep study performed if you consistently wake up with jaw or headache discomfort.
Do You Have TMD?
The best way to tell if you have TMD is to see Dr. McDonald so that he can conduct an evaluation, which is both verbal and physical to determine if you suffer from this disorder. He can tell you now, that if you have pain in your jaw when you wake up, have unexplained headaches, have pain in the jaw throughout the day, or hear a clicking noise that is bothersome when using your mouth, you may have TMD and should seek help right away.
If you suspect you may have this disorder, our dentists can help you immediately. We start by discussing your symptoms. What do you experience, and when do you feel these issues? We will watch as you open and close your mouth, looking for discomfort or issues with the alignment of the jaw. Sometimes we can identify the disorder without x-rays, but we typically need to use standard x-rays or CT scans to get a better look.
How Is TMJ Related to Bruxism or Teeth Grinding?
The overstimulation of nerves and muscles brings on the following symptoms due to the misalignment in the TMJ. Numerous people have bruxism, a disease where teeth grinding occurs due to overused facial muscles. Many tooth damage and other bite issues may result from teeth grinding.
What Options Are There for Treating TMJ Issues?
Open surgery, injection, conservation therapies, and easy self-care methods are all forms of therapy. Self-care techniques that assist with symptoms include eating soft meals, applying cold or heat, and avoiding severe jaw movements, including loud singing, gum biting, and wide yawning. Medical experts confirm that trying nonsurgical and conservative therapy should be tried first before you opt for surgery.
We have a variety of techniques we try first, many of which you can do at home to alleviate the pain. We typically start with the use of anti-inflammatory medications and ice/heat on the area, whichever you prefer. This can help reduce the swelling, which, in turn, will reduce the pain.
If the home remedies do not work, we may suggest wearing a mouthguard at night. While we know it is not ideal to think of wearing a mouthguard, it can help you avoid grinding your teeth at night, which may cause the TMD. Depending on the situation, we may also suggest certain exercises and massages you can do at home to help strengthen your jaw and alleviate the pain. The treatment for TMD is non-invasive and can be quite successful, giving you the relief that you need.
If you are dealing with TMJ or TMD and are unsure what treatment will suit you best, we're here to help you navigate the dental world. Call us at (469) 649-0699 or book an appointment with us online today!
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