The TMJ is a hinge-like joint that allows your mouth to open and close. There are two, one located on either side of the face. Many patients experience issues with one joint, although both can be affected. Injury, overuse, disease, congenital defect, and other conditions can displace or inflame the TMJ, leading to a wide range of symptoms. Jaw pain is one of the major identifying signs of TMD, but the only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with a top dentist with extensive experience. At Scripps Center for Dental Care, we can diagnose your condition and provide state-of-the-art treatment designed to help you manage this concern effectively.
Headaches and Other Symptoms
Common signs of TMD include clicking or popping sounds when the jaw moves, teeth grinding, difficulty chewing, an uncomfortable or misaligned bite, “lock-jaw,” and swelling on the side of the face. In addition to these more easily identifiable symptoms, TMD can also cause headaches and pain the shoulders, neck, and even the back in certain cases. If you’re experiencing persistent headaches and cannot determine the source, TMD may be the cause. Earaches, dizziness, and ringing in the ears can also be signs of this condition.
While there is no cure, there are many effective techniques available to address TMD and relieve the associated symptoms. At our practice, we will evaluate your concerns and develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. In many cases, a multi-modality approach provides more comprehensive benefits. BOTOX® Cosmetic can be administered to reduce muscle movement that contributes to clenching, grinding, jaw pain and fatigue, headaches, and other signs associated with this disorder. Splints (bite guards) are also often used to limit the damage caused by grinding or clenching. Physical therapy and counseling can help to modify behaviors and to reduce anxiety that can contribute to TMD. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to aid in your treatment.
TMD is a common condition, but there are many ways we can help. Contact us today for more information about TMJ disorder, or to schedule a consultation.