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TMJ / TMD Treatment: Dentist Services in Spring Texas
We barely notice or have to think about the joints in our body, until when they are not functioning as they should. One of the most important joints in the body is the Temporomandibular Joint, or TMJ in short, and it is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, attaching it to the temporal bones of the skull hence its name. The importance of this joint can’t be stressed enough as it is the one that allows us to move our jaw, and therefore our mouths. Whenever we move our jaw up and down or from side to side, it is this jaw that allows us to be able to do so. It, therefore, plays an important role when we are chewing our food, talking, yawning, and laughing among other activities that involve the movement of the jaw.
Attached to the lower jaw are also certain muscles of the face, which also help assist in its movement. When you have problems with your jaw, and your TMJ in particularly as well as problems with the muscles controlling it, then these are what are referred to as temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. TMJ and TMD are therefore not the same things, although the two terms are usually erroneously used interchangeably.
This article will look to go into a bit of detail on what TMD treatment entails, as well as the best dental clinic to go in Spring Texas for the same.
Before we get into matters TMD treatment, it is important to highlight some of the common causes of the same as well as the symptoms to look out for. Unfortunately, it is still not clear what the cause of TMD is, although it may be a result of problems with the TMJ or the muscles of the jaw, which may be as a result of injury to the jaw which can be caused by trauma or a hit to the jaw and so forth. Other than trauma to the jaw, other causes of TMD may include arthritis in the TMJ, grinding of your teeth or bruxism, stress that may trigger you to clench your teeth or tighten the muscles of the jaw or face among others.
The subject matter experts over at vita dental dentist in spring Texas recommend that some of the symptoms you should look out for as far as TMD is concerned to include pain or tenderness in the area of the joint of the jaw, face, in and around your ear, shoulders or neck when you speak, chew or open your mouth wide. You may also encounter problems when you try to open your mouth wide and your jaw may even get stuck in the open or closed-mouth position. Other symptoms include feeling tired in the face, swelling on the side of the face, clicking or grating sounds in your jaw when you open or closes your mouth or when chewing among other symptoms.
When you go to your dentist with symptoms of TMD, to make a diagnosis, your dentist will examine the joints of your jaw to see if they can hear clicks, grating sounds when you move them, look at the movement of the jaw to see if it is correct when you open and close it as well as testing your bite to see if it is proper. Your dentist may then take x-rays to be able to get a more detailed look of your TMJ, jaw and teeth.
If needed, other tests may also be ordered including an MRI to examine the TMJ and establish if it is in its proper position as you move your jaw and a CT scan which will allow your dentist to get a detailed view of your joint to see if there are any issues there. All these tests are available for the folks of Spring Texas at the excellent vita dental spring.
Treatments depend on the results of the diagnostic tests, as your TMD may be due to different reasons, all of which have different treatments. You may also require special treatment from specialists such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists among others, all of which are available for the people of Spring Texas at vita dental spring. If your TMD is due to misaligned teeth or issues with your bite, you may require orthodontic treatment to fix these issues, and as such your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist.
Other treatments your dentist may explore include the use of medication such as NSAIDs for pain and swelling, muscle relaxers for those who grind or clench their teeth as well as anti-anxiety medications for those whose TMD is due to stress; with all of these medications only available through prescription. Other than mediation, your dentist may also have you fitted with a splint or night guard, especially if your TMD is due to bruxism as well as an incorrect bite. These appliances will help fix these issues.
A splint, once fitted in, is used all the time while a nightguard is only worn while sleeping and will reduce the effects of grinding and clenching of teeth at night due to bruxism. Other treatment options include radio wave therapy, ultrasound treatment, trigger-point injections, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation also known simply as TENS, low-level laser therapy among others; all of which you will discuss with your dentist to see if any of them will be useful to you.
Your dentist may also recommend surgery, if other types of dental treatments are proving unhelpful, and will either do the surgery themselves or refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon depending on the situation. Surgery for TMD comes in three forms; arthrocentesis which is used to fix cases of a jaw that is locked in someone that has no previous history of TMD and which is a minor procedure that your dentist can do by themselves, arthroscopy which is a minimally invasive surgery on your TMJ with the help of an arthroscope or open-joint surgery which is a major surgery of your jaw to fix issues such as a scarred or chipped TMJ, tumor in and around the jaw among others.
There is more information to be found on the above discussion over at the excellent Vita Dental Spring, which is the best place to head to in Spring Texas for TMD treatment and other dental services. So schedule your next dental appointment now