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Dental Treatments
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

Man Massaging Jaw in Pain

The symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD or TMJ) can cause chronic pain and have a serious impact on your quality of life. Greg DeVor, DDS, and our experienced dental team have treated many patients with TMD and are committed to helping patients find practical solutions to ease their symptoms and find relief from pain.

What Is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts as a hinge that connects your jaw and skull, allowing your jaw to move when you speak or chew. When this joint can is injured or becomes inflamed, it can lead to painful temporomandibular joint disorders.

Symptoms Of TMD

There is a wide range of symptoms that can indicate some type of temporomandibular joint disorder. The most common symptoms include:

- An achy jaw at the site of the joint
- Aching facial pain
- Clicking or popping noises when you open or close your jaw
- Persistent ear pain
- Headaches
- Stiffness or soreness in the jaw muscles
- Locking of the temporomandibular joint, which causes an inability to fully open or close your mouth

Those who suffer from TMD experience different symptoms, and the intensity of the pain can vary widely. If any of these symptoms is interfering with your daily life, contact your doctor or TMJ dentist to seek treatment as soon as possible. Some types of TMD may lead to more serious conditions, so early detection and treatment are essential.

Common Causes of TMD

Unlike many other dental ailments, poor dental hygiene is not to blame for TMD. Injuries to the jaw, skull, head, or neck, such as whiplash experienced in an accident or a heavy blow to the head, can cause TMD. Other habits or disorders that may contribute to TMD are teeth grinding, arthritis of the TMJ, excessive gum chewing, poor posture, and stress, which can cause face and jaw muscles to tighten. It most commonly affects people between ages 20 and 40, and it is more prevalent in women than men.

Causes Of TMD

It can be challenging to determine what is causing TMD in some cases. Injuries to the jaw, skull, head or neck, such as whiplash or a heavy blow to the head, can cause TMD. Other habits or disorders that may contribute to TMD are teeth grinding or clenching, arthritis, disk degeneration, a misaligned bite, excessive gum chewing, poor posture and stress. All of these conditions can cause facial and jaw muscles to tighten, leading to chronic pain and other issues. TMD commonly affects people between the ages of 20 and 40 and is more prevalent in women than men.

Treatment For Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Although surgical intervention is an option to treat TMD, more conservative treatments should be tried before considering jaw surgery. Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers, eating a soft diet, applying ice and heat and avoiding activities that create a lot of jaw movement, such as singing or yawning, can help ease TMD symptoms. If you clench or grind your teeth, Dr. DeVor can create a custom-made bite splint (also called a night guard) that protects your teeth from wear and breakage and eases the symptoms of TMD. Nerve stimulation and acupuncture are also solutions that can bring relief to those who suffer from persistent TMD. Depending on the causes and severity of your TMD, there are several types of surgeries that can be used to treat it, including arthroscopy, open joint surgery and arthrocentesis.

Contact Us To Schedule A Consultation With A TMJ Dentist

If you or a loved one is suffering from the symptoms of TMD, Greg DeVor, DDS, can assess your condition and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Depending on your diagnosis and individual needs, Dr. DeVor will advise you of all recommended treatment options and help you determine the best course of action to find relief. To learn more about TMD treatment and the other services we offer, contact us online or call 216-221-1438 today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving your family's dental care needs.

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