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Do You Know TMD?

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Do you wake in the morning with pain in your jaw or a headache? Are you experiencing muscle pain in your neck, shoulders, or face? These and other symptoms are signs of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. This unpleasant condition can leave you in a lot of pain with no obvious solution in sight!

At Overmeyer Family Dental we have seen a lot of patients with TMD and we’ve been able to help a lot of them to live without pain! If you’re suffering from TMD or even if you just have pain in your jaw that you want diagnosed we can help you find relief!

What Is TMD?

There’s only one joint on your head but it’s an important one – it’s your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. That’s the joint that controls your jaw and it forms a hinge in the area right in front of your ears. When you experience pain in that joint it can be due to several things but one of the most common is TMD.

TMD has several different causes, making it hard to reach the actual root of the problem. That’s why we perform a full exam to find any underlying problems and then treat symptoms to provide pain relief and easy management.

The three most common causes of TMD are:

  • erosion or shifting of the cartilage disk that cushions the joint
  • arthritis in the joint, which can be caused by inflammatory diseases or wear
  • trauma to the joint or activity that places excessive force onto the joint (such as bruxism)

Bruxism, or grinding and clenching your teeth, is the most common of those three causes. Unfortunately bruxism is often an unconscious activity that happens while you’re asleep so you might not even realize you’re doing it! That’s why an appointment at our Orlando dentist office is so important – we’ll help you find the cause!

Symptoms of TMD can include:

  • a popping sound when you open your jaw
  • lockjaw
  • headaches and migraines
  • muscle pain in your face, neck, and shoulders
  • teeth sensitivity
  • pain in the jaw that radiates down the neck

All of these symptoms can come and go or be consistent but one thing’s for sure: you don’t want to suffer from them when help could be so simple!

Treating TMD

When you come to our office with TMD complaints we’re first going to perform a series of digital imaging scans and a full exam of your mouth. We’ll check for worn teeth due to bruxism and other physical symptoms that can point to a particular cause.

Most patients find relief from a simple cushioning mouthguard that stops excess pressures of grinding and allows them to sleep comfortably at night. Even if you don’t have a bruxing problem a mouthguard can still help a lot!

We’ll take an impression of your mouth that’s used to model the mouthguard out of soft rubber. It will fit perfectly and keep your TMJ in a nice, comfortable position at all times!

Some patients don’t find relief from a mouthguard, especially if they’re dealing with an arthritic condition. In those cases we can still help you find a solution! We can recommend pain killers, muscle relaxants, stress and habit management, and as a last result steroid injections or surgery. These cases are extremely rare and most every patient finds relief from our cushioning mouthguards.

TMD Expectations

The longer your TMD goes untreated the more you can expect it to get worse. If your TMD is being caused by bruxism then you’re even running the risk of losing teeth! Because the forces your jaw places on your teeth when grinding or clenching are so high they can cause your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out – not something you want to have happen!

If you’re concerned about TMD pain – or any dental pain for that matter – don’t wait for things to get better. Call our Orlando dentist office right away to schedule an appointment! You can reach us at (407) 871-3143 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. Don’t worry – relief is just a visit away!

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