TMD/TMJ

TMD/TMJ

According to studies, over 15% of the American population suffers from some form of chronic facial pain in the form of headaches, jaw pain, ear pains, etc.

Out of those, around 10 million Americans suffer from jaw pains because of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), a condition that affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on each side of the head in front of the ears. The TMJ is a hinge that connects the jaw to your head and it helps us eat, talk, and perform other functions requiring the mouth. In this article, we discuss what causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and TMJ diagnosis and treatment.

What Causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint is a complicated structure that involves both hinge and sliding actions, which is why it gets damaged easily. The parts of the bone that interact with this joint have cartilages and are separated by small discs in order to absorb shock. This ensures that all movement of the jaws remain smooth. However, a number of factors can damage the temporomandibular joint:

  • Erosion or misalignment of the small discs.
  • Damaged cartilages due to conditions like arthritis.
  • Injured or damaged jaws.

TMD may be caused by a number of different issues, some of which don’t even arise in the joints, which makes diagnosis difficult. Some of the factors that can lead to sudden TMJ pain include jaw injuries, damage to the head or neck, whiplash action, teeth grinding and bruxism, jaw dislocation, stress, bite misalignment, etc. All of these situations, and more, can lead to TMD.

TMD-TMJ-West-Orem-Dental

Preventative Dentistry 

Symptoms of TMD and TMJ

The following are some of the most common symptoms of TMD and TMJ:

  • Tinnitus, i.e., ringing sensation in the ears.
  • Earaches.
  • Dizziness and headaches.
  • Facial pains.
  • Neck and shoulder pains.
  • Swollen face.
  • Muscle fatigue in the face.
  • Tender jaws.
  • Jaw pain that gets worse in the mornings or afternoons.
  • Difficulty while chewing, yawning, or generally opening your mouth.
  • Jaw pains while opening your mouth wide.
  • Locked or stuck jaws.
  • Clicking sound whenever you move the jaws.
  • Tooth sensitivity even if you have healthy teeth and gums.
  • Difficulty with chewing foods because your upper and lower teeth are misaligned.

Risk Factors for TMJ Disorders

The following are the primary risk factors for TMJ disorders:

  • Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, increase the risk of TMD because they damage the cartilages.
  • Jaw injuries.
  • Chronic teeth grinding or clenching, also known as bruxism, which applies pressure on your jaws over an extended period.
  • Connective tissue diseases can also apply pressure on the TMJ.

PATIENT TESTIMONIALS

James B.

My minor procedure was pleasant, quick and painless. Dr. Grant and his assistant were very cordial, professional and informative about the procedure and the follow up care.

Joshua F.

I had another regular scheduled appointment at West Orem dental. Ease and flexible scheduling. Walked in, friendly service with no wait. X-rays and cleaning was smooth and relaxing. The friendly service and customer care had me lose track of time. I already scheduled my next appointment. Glad me and my family made the switch to West Orem Dental.

Crystal B.

Heard about Dr. Grant at W.Orem Dental through a friend and I’m so glad I did. Office staff is very friendly and organized. Dr. Grant did great work on my fillings and left me in virtually no pain at all. I’ll definitely be going back.

Monique W.

Dr Grant is extremely patient with his clients. He goes out of his way to ensure your comfortable. He genuinely cares about excellence in his work. He gives personal service and takes his time with you individually. Dr Grant is not Just another dentist.

Mario A.

Excellent dentistry with super competent and friendly staff. First rate work! Can’t recommend highly enough!

Bobby R.

I hate the dentist but I LOVE West Orem Dental, entering the doors are full of smiles and welcomes from Mary and Stephanie they make me feel way more comfortable, the service was great as usual I will be returning soon they’re the best

Linda G.

My family and I have been coming to Dr. Grant for years. We love his dental work, very professional and good bedside manner. His staff is very helpful. They also accept Care Crédit for those unexpected dental expenses that dental insurance doesn’t cover. I definitely recommend West Orem Dental.

Charlie B.

I have been going to West Orem Dental Center for many years for all of my dental needs. The staff is so caring, kind and gentle. Their work is exceptional. Thank you for restoring my smile. I appreciate all that you do.

Trula B.

West Orem Dental is great. Dr. Grant and his staff are very professional. They make your dental visit experience as comfortable as possible. I’ve been a customer for many years and have always been welcomed with smiling faces.

Connie R.

Been coming here since I was five now its over 40 years later and I’m bringing my kids
Dr Watkins was always great and now Mark Grant is just as good and makes us always feel important
Mary is great also always finding out answers to my many questions!!

Jenna O.

I’ve been going to the West Orem Dental for over a decade and have never been disappointed. The staff is amazing, they make you feel right at home. This is the most efficient place I’ve ever been to. Thank you West Orem Dental Center for always taking care of my teeth. They even make a Dental extraction pleasant and easy.

Linda S.

I have been going there for years and Dr Grant is a great dentist. He is very friendly and caring plus I am very pleased with the work he has done on my teeth.

Edward J.

The people are caring and do a good job to educate you about the importance of good dental health. I recommend them to take care of all your dental needs. Thank You West Orem Dental

Jean C.

Dr. Grant, is a good, and caring dentist…He listens to you, and helps you to decide the best treatment for your problem…I had a root canal , yesterday, was scared to death..my first one… I didn’t need to be afraid…it was a snap ! If you need a good dentist, he’s you man ..

Lesley G.

Mary and Stephanie we absolutely amazing!!! I came in with horrible pain and needing a tooth extracted and they fit me in immediately and worked with me on everything!! I cannot tell you how amazed I am with these guys!!! And Dr Grant is one of a kind!!! No pain and super quick!!! Love love love!!!!

Irene U.

Well I found this dentist thru my insurance. They were great. The dentist did a great job on my teeth and dentures. I have received a lot of compliments on my teeth. I would recommend them in a minute. I even send my sister there and she was happy with the work they did on her teeth.

Jasmine C

Very patient and explains everything … About to get my first root canal and I am very calm knowing that Dr. Grant will do an awesome job.. staff is very welcoming and make sure you are taken care of.

Joyce M.

I have seen Dr Grant several times. I had a wisdom tooth pulled. It wasn’t an easy process, tooth just had broken the gums and had been this way for years. Dr Grant did a wonderful job, I had no pain during the procedure or afterwards, only soreness. I’m now having a root canal done and have also been well taken of….no pain. He informs you of what he will be doing. He and all his staff are very friendly. It is so comforting to walk in the door and be greeted by smiling faces from the ladies at the front desk. I feel important as a patient, well taken care of and recommend Dr Grant to anyone who is in need of a great dentist.

Beverly J

I have been coming to West Orem for over 20 years. The service is remarkable and the staff is wonderful. Dr Grant is the best and he is very sensitive to your needs. The staff goes over and beyond to help you and make you feel like you are the only patient in the world. Thank you West Orem Dental for caring enough to give me the best of your service.

TMJ Diagnosis and Treatment

The symptoms of TMJ can also be caused by a number of other conditions. That’s why it’s necessary to go to a reputable dental clinic so they can study your unique condition and symptoms to determine if you really have TMD.

Diagnosis

Most of the symptoms of TMD can also occur because of conditions like sinus issues, arthritis, gingivitis, tooth decay, etc. In order to rule them out, your dentist will discuss your medical history and ask you for a detailed list of your symptoms. You should answer all the questions clearly. Your dentist will also run physical exams in order to check your joints and listen for popping and grinding sounds. If the dentist suspects you do have TMD, they may recommend you get a CT scan, X-rays, or an MRI scan to be sure. Once it’s clear that you’re suffering from TMD, the dentist will proceed to TMJ treatments.

Medicinal TMJ Treatment

The dentist may prescribe some medications to deal with the TMJ pain such as pain relievers like ibuprofen, low doses of tricyclic antidepressants to help you sleep, and muscle relaxants that can relieve the muscle spasms caused by TMD.

Therapeutic TMJ Treatment

The following are some non-drug and non-surgical methods to treat TMD:

  • Mouth Guards: Dentists often recommend mouth guards or oral splints for people suffering from TMD. These are soft devices that you can wear on your teeth to prevent your upper and lower teeth from gnashing against each other. It can be useful if your TMJ is caused by bruxism.
  • Physical Therapy: Dentists can also recommend a number of different physical exercises with which you can strengthen your jaw muscles and gradually treat your TMD.
  • Counseling: TMD is often caused by bruxism, which, in turn, may be caused by psychological issues and stress. With counseling, you can understand the root cause of TMD and treat it gradually.

Surgical TMJ Treatment

Your dentist may also recommend a number of surgical treatments if the aforementioned methods don’t work. There are quite a few surgical TMJ treatment options such as Arthrocentesis. Corticosteroid Injections, TMJ Arthroscopy, Modified Condylotomy, and Open-Joint surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about TMD/TMJ

How to treat TMJ?

There are a number of different ways to treat TMJ — taking medications, therapeutic, wearing mouth guards, or surgical options. Your dentist has to determine the root cause of TMJ before prescribing a treatment procedure.

What are signs and symptoms of TMJ?

Some of the signs and symptoms of TMJ include face joint aches, earaches, neck pains, headaches, tinnitus, locked jaws, difficulty while chewing and speaking, etc.

What are the causes of sudden TMJ pain?

You may experience sudden TMJ pain due to various causes, such as jaw injuries, jaw dislocation, bite misalignment, stress that leads to teeth clenching, bruxism, etc.

Do I really need a night guard for bruxism?

A night guard can be extremely helpful when you’re suffering from bruxism. It can provide some cushioning to your teeth to minimize the damage caused by teeth grinding.

Schedule an Appointment with the Best TMJ Dentist

At West Orem Dental, our expert dentists will run thorough tests to determine the root cause of TMD and then treat it using minimally invasive and simple procedures. If you have any other questions about TMJ, then please schedule an appointment with the best TMJ dental clinic.


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