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A Dentist Explains How to Treat TMD Pain
Wanting more information from an actual dentist on treating pain associated with TMD? Many people confuse TMD with TMJ, which is understandable as the terms are very similar.
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is located on both sides of the head and directly connects the jawbone to the skull. This joint plays a very important role as it controls the ability for the jaw to move properly, necessary for everyday actions like chewing and talking. When someone is experiencing problems with their TMJ, these problems are known as a TMJ disorder or simply TMD.
Wondering if a dentist can help you deal with your TMD pain? TMD, aka temporomandibular joint disorder, refers to a dysfunction of the TMJ. When the temporomandibular joint is not functioning properly it directly affects the surrounding muscles, which is going to cause various levels of discomfort and/or pain anytime the jaw moves.
Some of the more common causes of TMD include being diagnosed with arthritis, an autoimmune disease, bruxism, having an infection in the mouth or experiencing some sort of jaw injury.
About TMD pain
Dental patients who receive a TMD diagnosis will experience some degree of pain. This makes it a good idea for patients to learn what options are available to them for reducing or even eliminating their jaw-related pain. Experiencing any type of jaw pain can really get in the way of one’s everyday life as even performing simple tasks like eating and talking can induce pain.
Patients often experience pain in or around their ear area, their jaw area, their neck area and even their shoulder area. They may also experience clicking when opening or closing their mouth, some swelling on one or both sides of their face and ongoing headaches.
Treating TMD pain
Those suffering from TMD have a few different options for treating their pain. In order for them to understand the options that will ideally work for them, a dental appointment is necessary. During this appointment they will be carefully evaluated, allowing a dentist to understand the severity of their TMD problems. Once the severity is understood, the treatment process can begin.
Common options for treating TMD include resting the jaw, using a heating pad or exercises that relax the jaw muscles, wearing a mandibular advancement device, wearing a bite guard, learning how to deal with stress, wearing invisible braces and taking over the counter medications. Surgery is always a last resort.
Are you currently suffering from TMD?
Ready to make an appointment with a dentist to address your TMD pain? The sooner you make an appointment, the sooner you can be on your way to being pain-free. Your first step is getting a proper diagnosis so that a treatment plan can be made for you.
As you can see by the above information, there are many options for treating TMD pain. The fact that TMD is a complicated condition makes it essential for anyone who is experiencing jaw pain to make an appointment with an experienced dentist for a professional evaluation.
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