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Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is when your left or your right or both jaws don't work right. It's a very interesting joint. It's not just a hinge joint. You can go an hinge open your mouth and you can also open it up like a boa constrictor type of a thing to put a hoagie in there if you want to. There's a whole bunch of different tissues that are involved with that. If you wind up stretching some or others, you can wind up having a little bit of a problem.

Every fall, we wind up having cheerleader syndrome. The cheerleaders go ”Rah, rah, rah” and open their jaw and it stays open for some reason, and we have to put it back together. Usually if it happens today and we get to it tomorrow, it's resolved okay. It will be fine and nobody has a problem, but if you get into a situation where you fell down and you don't know that you've got a problem, and two months later you come in, it's a little bit more of a problem to resolve easily. Most of the times though, you can have one of these incidents and it will go away.

Two, if we put in a simple bite plate it will help it go away faster. Three, if it doesn't go away faster, there are different modalities to work with. Some people have psychological problems that you can't overcome and they're going to beat up on their own tissues anyways. Some folks need a surgical intervention. Some people have been involved in a traumatic car accident or something to that effect. There's all sorts of different interventions, but usually in our practice, we'll do the simple things first. Then there are people that deal with that all day long if you have to go there.

Are you experiencing pain in your jaw? What about unexplained headaches or neck pain? If you are experiencing these types of pain, you may be suffering from TMD. Let’s talk about what TMD is, how bruxism can affect your quality of life, and how we can help you feel better. Call (561) 391-6415 to schedule an appointment.

What Is TMJ (TMD)?

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD is temporomandibular joint dysfunction, which is characterized by pain or discomfort associated with the TMJ. Symptoms of TMD can include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Facial pain
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Earaches
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw joint
  • Lockjaw
  • Trouble chewing or opening the mouth wide
  • Facial swelling
  • Headaches

These symptoms can be brought on by stress to the joint, injury, or other causes. Sometimes it is not clear what exactly is causing the pain, but our team will work hard to eliminate your discomfort.

If you are experiencing discomfort in your jaw area or any of the symptoms listed above, please contact our office as soon as possible. The sooner we see you, the easier it will be to alleviate your pain.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is often linked to TMD because they can be treated in similar ways. Bruxism is the involuntary clenching or teeth grinding, usually unknowingly during sleep or work. The grinding or clenching can cause stress on the jaw joint, pain, or the breakdown of teeth. This wear and tear can cause serious dental and orthodontic issues. Our team can treat the symptoms of bruxism before they create larger, harder-to-solve problems.

How We Can Help

We can help to solve your TMJ and bruxism issues using oral appliance technology. If you are experiencing TMJ-related pain, we first begin by having you wear a splint. These splints are plastic teeth coverings designed to change your bite and alleviate stress on the jaw joint. Most of the time, a splint will do the trick. With a little patience, your TMJ pain will clear up. For more serious cases, we refer you to a doctor who specializes in TMJ-related issues.

Bruxism can be a little more difficult to treat due to its origins. While TMJ is typically caused by stress or injury, bruxism is rooted neurologically. Something in the brain signals the jaw joint to stress, causing the clenching and grinding. Typically, we cannot treat the neurological origin, but we can always provide a solution to the symptoms. We can offer you an occlusal guard to wear at night. This guard temporarily moves the jaw into a more comfortable position and protects the teeth from being damaged by grinding or clenching. We can help you feel comfortable and protect your dental health.

Schedule A Consultation

We can help alleviate your TMJ pain with TMJ Treatment. We offer free consultations to help you get the information you need in order to make a sound decision about your care. Call our office at (561) 391-6415 or send us a message using our online form. We will be happy to set up a date and time that is right for you.

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