Understanding temporomandibular joint disorders including TMJ disorder and TMD

TMJ Disorder | TMD DisorderConditions that may negatively impact a patient’s smile are not only cavities and gum disease. There are certain malfunctions of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles that can cause patients to have issues such as locking or popping jaws when they open and close their mouth. This may be a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder, also referred to as TMJ disorder or TMD. This chronic condition can be problematic for patients, causing pain, discomfort, and continued malfunctioning of the jaw joint.

Understanding TMD/TMJ

Patients with problems around the jaw joint may be dealing with TMJ disorder or TMD. This condition is often diagnosed based on a patient’s medical history and description of the problems they are experiencing. Patients with this condition may notice:

• Clicking and popping of the jaw when eating or speaking

• Locking of the jaw in the open or closed position

• Discomfort in the muscles around the jaw joint

• Pain that can radiate from the ears down to the shoulders

• Chronic headaches and migraines caused by tension

• Bruxism (clenching and grinding of the teeth at night or during the day)

When patients have been diagnosed with this condition, they are often curious as to what treatment options are available. In most situations, patients can benefit from oral appliance therapy. This includes the use of a special mouth piece that is worn at night or even during the day to reduce the tension caused by the malfunctioning jaw joint. This eliminates pressure within the smile and can help patients reduce chronic headaches and migraines that sometimes develop as a coexisting condition. This is a non-invasive way to reduce problems associated with TMJ/TMD.

Do you believe you are suffering from a TMJ disorder?

If you live in or around the area of Brunswick, ME and are ready to discuss your concerns with a quality dental team, we encourage you to book an appointment with Dr. James A. Oshetski and his staff to have a thorough evaluation performed to get a proper diagnosis and discuss treatment. Patients in the community are welcome to call (207) 729-1159 to schedule a visit at 14 Maine Street, Suite 409. New and existing patients and families are welcome in our practice for dental treatments.

Posted in: TMD/TMJ

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