Our temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the joints that connect our lower jawbones to our faces. The movement of the lower jawbone is what allows us to open and close our mouths to eat and speak. TMD treatment is aimed at correcting temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
At Sapphire Smiles Dental Specialists, we have years of experience in TMD treatment near you. There’s no single treatment that works for everyone. The treatment plan is based on the patient’s symptoms and the severity of their TMD. When a cause is found, we try to treat it to prevent the issue from recurring.
TMD Symptoms and Causes
At Sapphire Smiles Dental Specialists, we place emphasis on identifying the cause of TMD. Trauma is a common cause. When a person receives trauma to the side of the face or the chin, the TMJs can be disrupted. Other causes include rheumatoid arthritis, stress, and others. Patients who grind their teeth while asleep will also develop TMD as the grinding exerts pressure on the TMJs.
The symptoms of TMD vary. Most patients experience pain in the jaw or the ear. Since the pain is often felt around the ear, patients might assume they have an ear problem. A clicking sound can usually be heard when patients with TMD open and close their mouths.
The first step in TMD treatment is usually to prescribe muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients with spasms in their jaw muscles will experience significant relief with these drugs. If the cause was stress, no further treatment is usually necessary.
When there’s debris or significant inflammation in the jaw, we might need to inject it with corticosteroids. Surgery might be required to remove debris and dead tissues. Traditional surgery with large incisions is rarely required. Endoscopic surgery is now the preferred treatment. This type of surgery is associated with faster recoveries and less discomfort.