TMJ/TMD Treatment

TMJ/TMD Treatment

TMD, which stands for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, is a disorder that negatively impacts a person’s jaw. The temporomandibular joint connects your jawbone to your skull and acts as a hinge. If this joint starts to not work properly, many issues can start creeping up. Starting with pain, you will also notice jaw aches, difficulty chewing, and a clicking or locking of the joint.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Additionally, bruxism is the term for when you excessively grind your teeth and/or clench your jaw. Bruxism can be an indicator that TMD might develop, but can also be caused by TMJ problems. TMJ and bruxism are very interweaved, so it is smart to fight both simultaneously.

Treating TMD & Teeth Grinding

To properly ensure that the root of these issues is clear, your dentist will x-ray the area to analyze additional causes of the TMJ and bruxism. To treat these conditions, your dentist will make a TMJ appliance that should be worn while sleeping. An imprint is taken of your mouth to make sure the TMJ appliance is a perfect fit.

The TMJ appliance works by putting the jaw in a beneficial position while also absorbing the shock of any teeth grinding that occurs. By keeping the jaw in an ideal position, it helps repair the joint and improve its functionality. Reducing the teeth grinding takes extra pressure off of the jaw, allowing it to rest.

Reducing Bruxism & TMD Symptoms at Home

Additionally, the following are helpful in reducing bruxism and also TMJ:

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Cut back on caffeinated beverages
  • Try some jaw relaxing techniques
  • Avoid chewing fingernails, pen caps, ice—basically, anything that is not food

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