TMJ / TMD
Around 15% of people in the U.S. have a condition known as TMJ. Also called TMD, it is actually, and officially, known as Temporomandibular Disorder. It describes a whole list of issues that affect the muscles and joints of the jaw, and most specifically the TM or temporomandibular joints. It is not a condition you should ignore because the symptoms it causes prove it to be harmful to the health of your teeth and gums, but also to your head, neck, jaw, and even your general health and well being.
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Symptoms of TMJ/TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Chronic headaches
- Pain in the neck area
- Tenderness of the jaw (especially in the morning or late afternoon)
- Difficulty or pain when chewing and biting
- Problems opening and closing the mouth
- A distinct popping sound when opening the mouth
- Problems with the teeth when there are no actual dental problems.
People with TMJ/TMD also frequently complain of irritability due to the chronic discomfort this issue causes. Even more problematic is that many also experience diminished or impaired sleep because of the pain this issue creates.
The reasons for the condition can include everything from injury and arthritis to a bite that is no longer in proper alignment. In most cases, it is a problem that requires the help of a general dentist with knowledge in this area.
How Is TMJ Treated?
TMJ/TMD is most commonly treated with a splint. There is more than one style, though, and they are selected by the dentist to help the patient with their specific issues. For instance, you may need a splint that helps to relax your jaw and prevent teeth grinding (bruxism) from causing damage. Of course, clenching your jaw may be the cause of the problem, and so a different splint may be necessary to help prevent both grinding and clenching.
Patients in the Washington DC area can count on the team to assess their TMJ/TMD condition. They can then offer you the ideal splint for your needs. Whether it is a flat plane splint, Modified Hawley splint, a repositioning splint, or another type, their doctors will be able to determine the best solution.
Durable and long-lasting TMJ splints can be made for you by their skilled dentists. Whether from acrylic resin or a softer material, the team will know precisely the type of splint that is required.
Other TMJ Issues
Remember that your TMD may have caused wear and tear on the teeth, and so it is strongly advised that any treatment begin with a full dental exam. This will help to gauge the extent of the condition and to get you started on the road to repairing any tooth damage caused.
Considered a form of cosmetic dentistry because it focuses on alignment, TMJ/TMD splints may also be seen as restorative or general dentistry as well since the typical TMJ splint has the health and condition of the teeth as a focus too.
If you fear that you may be suffering from TMJ/TMD, and you would like a consultation or exam in the Washington DC area, just call 202-488-8300 or use the online contact form to set up an appointment with one of their skilled dentists.
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