The movement of the jaw is vital for our everyday activities, such as biting and chewing food, talking, laughing, yawning, etc. The joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull comes into the picture during this movement and is called the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). When the tissues around the joint sustain inflammation, it can lead to a condition called the TMJ Disorder (TMD), which can hinder the ideal movement of the lower jaw.
What causes TMD?
- Persistent movement of the lower jaw, such as frequent snacking, chewing gum, tobacco, etc.
- External trauma to the TMJ, which can cause a minor displacement
- Oral conditions such as bruxism, which is the subconscious grinding of the teeth while asleep.
- Improper sleeping positions
What are its symptoms?
- Significant pain while biting and chewing food
- Limited movement of the lower jaw
- Persistent headaches
- Swelling of the tissues around the TMJ
- Popping or clicking sound near the TMJ
- Ringing sound in the ears
- Worn out teeth surfaces
- Patients with TMD can make a few subtle changes to their everyday lifestyle to reduce the severity of TMD. Some of them are:
- Regularly massaging the TMJ and the surrounding tissues to get rid of the stress
- Changing the sleeping positions to more relaxed ones
- Avoiding frequent snacking and chewing gum
- Get professional dental treatment for bruxism
When you visit our dental practice to get TMD treated, we will conduct a thorough diagnosis by using our 3D cone beam technology to develop a suitable treatment plan. It may include massage therapy to relieve the stress tissues, medications, or a suitable bruxism guard. The guard has to be worn at night before going to bed, as it prevents contact between the teeth of either jaw to eliminate wear. It also significantly reduces the stress applied to the TMJ and surrounding tissues. Depending on the severity of the condition, we may suggest BOTOX therapy or surgery to treat the condition.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (503) 574-4000 to have a consultation with Dr. Sepehri, and we will be happy to help.