What is TMJ/TMD? 

TMJ and TMD are acronyms which refer to the temporomandibular joint of the jaw (TMJ) and temporomandibular disorders (TMD), respectively. Oftentimes, the two are used interchangeably to refer to troubles with the jaw joint that may include:

  • Frequent headaches and earaches
  • Sore jaw muscles
  • Aching, dull facial pain
  • A jaw that locks or shifts to one side when the mouth is open

It's important to recognize that, rather than being one specific disease, TMD is a condition. This means that symptoms can vary wildly.

Learning about TMD and how to help a patient manage it can only be achieved through extensive research of medical literature and specialty residency programs. For this reason, prosthodontists are widely-regarded as the best-trained dentists for the job of treating TMD.

 

Is TMD Treatable? 

Yes and no. In some cases, treatment actually isn't even necessary. TMD has been known to resolve and disappear of its own accord. If you believe that your TMD has disappeared on its own, be on the lookout for warning signs of its return. Sometimes TMD ebbs and flows rather than disappearing completely.

 

On the whole, though, "treating" TMD is less about curing the problem and more about finding management techniques that work for you. The term treatment is frequently utilized, but patients should remain aware that it's a colloquial term and medical treatment will be focused on easing symptoms as they appear. 

 

How is TMJ/TMD Treated?

Treating TMD looks different for everybody. It's a process that's dependent on each individual patient, their own experience with symptom management, and the prosthodontist who partners with them for that symptom management. 

 

In our office, we've found a number of reliable methods for helping patients ease their symptoms and continue their lives as usual. Some of these treatments include:

 

  • Exercises to promote jaw muscle strength
  • Using heat or ice packs to help ease and modify pain
  • Opting to eat softer foods during peak discomfort
  • Medications for reducing pain and swelling
  • Medications for aiding in relaxation
  • Equilibration (or adjusting or reshaping some of the teeth to fix an uneven bite)
  • Stabilization dental appliances
  • Properly made and fit night guard or occlusal appliances
  • Surgery (in the most extreme cases)

It's critical to note that surgery is only recommended in instances where the symptoms of TMD are drastically decreasing a patient's quality of life. Surgery should only be discussed with your prosthodontist after all other treatment options have been exhausted.

 

TMJ/TMD Treatment With Dr. Tyler

At Stuart Pro Dentistry, we're committed to helping you treat and manage pain and other symptoms of TMJ. Dr. Tyler has more than twenty years of experience in the dental field and holds the title of Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.). Alongside a Master of Science in Dental Sciences, these experience and certification mean that Dr. Tyler is well-poised to tackle even the worst cases of TMD.

 

Dr. Tyler has received extensive training in the creation of night guards and the process of surgery for TMD symptom reduction. While surgery is always saved as a last-ditch effort to offer our patients relief, night guards are an accessible means of treatment for most patients and often bring about significant improvements in symptoms. 

 

Ready to schedule an appointment? Get in touch with us today! A friendly, knowledgeable member of our office team will be happy to assist you and begin the scheduling process. Whether you're looking for preventative care, you're in need of an assessment, or you need help treating a condition like TMD, our office is well-equipped to handle any problem.

 

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