Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (commonly known as TMD) refers to a range of conditions related to pain in the jaw muscles. Jaw problems can be extremely unpleasant and affect around one in every ten people in the UK at some point during their lives.
What are some common symptoms of TMD?
Patients can experience multiple or even just a single symptom. Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Pain or tenderness in your face and jaw joints, particularly when you wake up
- Chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, or upper back
- Pain around the ear when chewing or speaking
- Difficulties in opening or closing your mouth
- Locked jaw (the inability to open your mouth as much as normal)
- Persistant toothache
- Headaches and migraines
- Clicking, popping or grinding sounds when moving your jaw
- Persistant tooth grinding, particularly at night
What causes TMD?
TMD can be caused by several factors. Some of the most common factors include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Bruxism (persistent teeth grinding or clenching, particularly at night)
- History of facial trauma
- Arthritis (swelling or inflammation of a joint)
- Excessive strain to the jaw joints and muscle group that
- Mis-aligned bite
What treatment options are there?
At Triangle Dental, we offer multiple effective non-surgical treatment options for patients suffering with Temporomandibular disorders. These include:
- Occlusal Appliance Therapy (Orthotic Splints / Night Guards / Day Guards)
- JawGuard therapy (in-ear devices for those with dominance of ear symptoms secondary to TMD)
- EMG Monitoring of Masseter Muscles
- Screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
- T-Scan led bite adjustments / Disclusion Time Reduction therapy (usually not first line)
- Invisalign may be advised if the problem is found to be misalignment of the teeth or jaw.(usually not first line)
- Working with team members for those that require Physiotherapy, Botox therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Hypnosis.
If the case is more complex and we cannot treat you at the practice then we will refer you to the most appropriate specialist or physician.
It usually quite rare for surgery to be needed to treat TMJ disorder and it is generally only used in particularly serious cases and when other treatment options have failed.