Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMDs)
Green Bay, WI
At Bay Lakes Center for Complex Dentistry, we want you to know everything possible about the conditions that may affect your jaw and overall dental health. Our dentists have the expertise necessary to help you with periodontal disease, tooth realignment, and any oral disorder you might suffer from. An area of your mouth particularly sensitive to problems is the temporamandibular joint (TMJ). You may suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) if it is hard for you to move your jaw without pain. This is a unique disorder that we are prepared to help you overcome.
How Does The TMJ Work?
As mentioned above, the TMJ is the temporomandibular joint which helps to keep your upper and lower jaw together. This joint is known for its complexity and, found in front of the lower part of your ear, it is what lets you move your jaw forwards, backwards, and side-to-side. If this intricate joint does not work properly, then the result can be sharp pain near your ears or in the jaw itself. This can then develop into a TMD, which is when you have consistent problems with the muscles in your face or the bones in your jaw.
How Do I Know If I Have A TMD?
It can be hard to tell the difference between the symptoms of TMD and other issues that may affect your oral health. One way to help determine the distinction is to assess whether you suffer from any difficulties with your jaw. If you hear a popping or clicking sound when you use your mouth, you may have a TMD. If your jaw muscles feel tender most of the time, this can be another sign. One more symptom is when your yawns cause you pain, earaches, headaches, or pain behind your eyes. All of these problems would lead us to believe that you may suffer from TMD and that our dentists can help you address it.
How Do You Treat TMD?
There are many different TMD treatments our dentists can prepare for you that will help to reduce your various symptoms. Choosing to use an orthodontic appliance like a bite plate or splint can prevent your teeth from grinding together. If you learn relaxation techniques, they can also be an effective way to lessen any muscle tension around your jaw. Applying anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, or other muscle relaxants can help you to reverse any pain or muscle spasms. If these treatments do not affect, then we can move on to recommending jaw joint surgery to decisively deal with your TMD.
How Do I Counteract TMD Pain?
If your jaw hurts, then opening your mouth widely can cause you significant pain. Consequently, we encourage you to change your habits to reduce the number of big bites and yawns as much as possible in your daily routine. Placing your fist or thumb beneath your chin and pressing up when you yawn, bite, or otherwise use your jaw can let you control against opening so widely that it hurts. A soft or liquid diet lets you steer clear of chewy foods that would require you to use your jaw much more than you otherwise would. Carefully stretching your jaw throughout the day can also help to lessen the pain that you have to endure.
Though many of these activities can help you reduce the pain from TMD, the best thing you can do is contact us so that our dentists get you a treatment plan that can ideally take care of the symptoms permanently. If your jaw hurts or you want to learn more about TMD, call us today at (920) 278-7678.