What is TMJ disorder?
A good night’s sleep is essential for good health.
If you experience jaw pain every day, it may seem normal to you. But the truth is, jaw pain is far from normal and may be a symptom of a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the skull, allowing you to open and close your mouth. TMD causes pain around the joint and nearby muscles. When you clench or grind your teeth, it puts additional strain on the jaw muscles, causing inflammation and affecting your sleep. At Laurel Manor SleepCare, we can relieve these symptoms and give you reason to smile again.
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How We Treat TMD at Laurel Manor SleepCare
How is TMD treated?
Customized Treatments for Your Unique Situation
The first step in treating TMD is to undergo a thorough clinical evaluation of your face, jaw, bite, joints, and teeth. We check for pain and tenderness and listen for clicks and pops when you open, swallow, or chew.
Once diagnosed, a custom nightguard is often recommended as the first treatment. These customized, plastic mouthpieces are designed to fit over your upper and/or lower teeth and prevent the clenching and grinding that frequently causes or worsens TMD. The nightguard also realigns your jaw and reduces stress on the surrounding area.
Risk Factors for TMJ Disorder
What causes TMD to develop?
TMD can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Certain types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- A previous injury to the jaw
- Chronic grinding or clenching of teeth
- Autoimmune diseases
- Certain connective tissue diseases
Dr. Rozensky and his team at Laurel Manor SleepCare review your overall health history to create the right treatment plan for you.
What TMD treatment is right for you?
Tailoring Your Treatment to Your Circumstances
Your TMD treatment options depend on the circumstances of your condition. A nighttime oral appliance may help relieve uncomfortable symptoms and protect the muscles, teeth, and TMJ. Those whose TMD is caused by a bite condition or misalignment might benefit from a daytime appliance.
We have a detailed understanding of how the teeth, jaw, and TMJ function together. During your dental exam, we feel either side of your TMJ to see if it’s moving normally or if it shows signs of joint problems so that treatment can be applied efficiently and effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your TMD Questions Answered
A: A sore jaw is a common symptom, but you may also notice sharp or aching pain in your neck, ear, face, or throat. You may experience headaches, clicking, or discomfort similar to lockjaw, making it difficult to speak or chew. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Laurel Manor SleepCare for a thorough evaluation.
A: Good posture and making a point to relax your jaw muscles can reduce your risk of developing a TMJ disorder. You should also have regular dental checkups so that your dentist can discover any potential jaw issues early on, which allows you to take more preventive measures.