TMJ

Temperomandibular Disease or TMD is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint. It can cause recurring debilitating pain in the jaw if left untreated or misdiagnosed. The TMJ is the jaw joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone of the skull. It assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw and is one of the most intricate joints in our bodies.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TMD INCLUDE:

  • Clicking/popping in the jaw joints when opening or closing the mouth
  • Persistent headaches and facial pain
  • Limited ability to open the mouth
  • Pain or tenderness in the neck or ear when talking, chewing or opening the mouth wide
Since these symptoms may be a result of other conditions, a thorough examination is needed to receive an accurate diagnosis and to design an efficient treatment plan.

CONSERVATIVE TREATMENTS

Because the most common jaw joint and muscle problems are temporary and do not get worse, simple treatment may be all that is necessary to relieve discomfort.

SELF-CARE PRACTICES

There are steps you can take that may be helpful in easing symptoms, such as:
eating soft foods, applying ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movements (such as wide yawning, loud singing, and gum chewing), learning techniques for relaxing and reducing stress, practicing gentle jaw stretching and relaxing exercises that may help increase jaw movement.

PAIN MEDICATIONS

For many people with TMJ disorders, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medicines or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw discomfort. When necessary, your dentist or physician can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or anti-depressants to help ease symptoms.

STABILIZATION SPLINTS

Dr. Zaidi may recommend an oral appliance, also called a stabilization splint or TMD splint.
Once the bite is stabilized she may recommend  a second phase of treatment. The second phase may involve modification of the your occlusion (bite) via orthodontics (with our without jaw surgery),  restorative dentistry, or any other necessary treatment depending on the patient’s needs.