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What Is TMD Therapy?
TMD, short for Temporomandibular Disorder, is a disorder in which there are problems with jaw movement, or pain in and around the jaw joints. The jaw joints connect the lower jawbone to the skill, which are used more than any other joint in the body. This helps you do things such as chewing, yawning, as well as all other movements of the jaw. It’s important to understand that TMD is not just one thing, but rather a collection of symptoms and disorders that you could experience.
TMD therapy is the use of various techniques in order to try and treat the condition so that you are more comfortable and not experiencing a high amount of pain. For example, one of the things that can be done is a custom mouthguard in order to take away some of the pressure that you get from biting or grinding. If this is the problem, then the mouthguard will help get rid of the pain.
Or, your dentist might recommend that you take painkillers to help with the immediate pain. Depending on your situation, your dentist may be able to prescribe you something stronger. Or, if arthritis is the underlying concern, then a steroid injection might be the answer.
As well as these options, there are surgical choices that you can consider. These will only be considered as part of TMD therapy if you have severe and persistent issues though. TENS can treat TMD by using electrical pulses to massage the muscles in the face. Or, you could have open-joint surgery but this is only going to be an option if the problem has to do with the stricture. An incision will be made to expose the jaw joint, and then it can be repositioned or repaired, depending on what the issue is.
Arthrocentesis is a procedure that allows the dentist to wash out the joint, seeing if any build up of dirt or any other substance could be the reason for the discomfort you are feeling.
When Would You Need It?
The first sign that you may need TMD therapy in Elizabeth, Colorado is the fact that you have pain in your jaw. We’re not talking about a little bit of discomfort that’s been going on for an hour. Instead, we mean pain that is severe and lasts for over a day. The pain is most common in the morning or late afternoon though, so keep an eye on this. If this happens, then you need to contact your dentist as soon as possible and get booked in for a check-up. Make sure that you write a list of your symptoms so that you can tell the dentist when you get there if there is anything else they need to know. Some of the other common symptoms of TMD are:
- Spreading pain behind your eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck or back
- Clicking or popping of your jaw
- Earaches or ringing in the ears (excluding tinnitus and ear infections)
- A change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Locking jaw
- Limited mouth motions
- Numbness or tingling in your fingers