TMJ/TMD are acronyms used to refer to a condition known as “temporomandibular joint disorder.” As the name suggests, this is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint, the small and delicate joint that attaches your jaw to your skull.
TMJ/TMD can be caused by lots of different things, from a bad bite to teeth grinding, arthritis, direct trauma, and more. Its symptoms can vary quite a bit, too. Common symptoms of TMJ/TMD include pain in the jaw, discomfort when chewing, headaches, “clicking” and “popping” noises when chewing, and problems opening or closing your mouth all the way. If you think you have TMJ/TMD in New Berlin, Drs. Jake Jacomet, Nicholas Dwan, and Andrea Emmerich are here to help. Contact Willow Dental today.
To begin your treatment, Drs. Jake Jacomet, Nicholas Dwan, or Andrea Emmerich will examine your mouth closely to look for things that could contribute to your TMJ/TMD, such as teeth grinding (bruxism), an unhealthy bite, and other such issues.
TMJ/TMD is often worsened by certain lifestyle factors. For example, chewing a lot of gum could make your jaw hurt, or stress at work may lead you to grind your teeth during the day unconsciously. You’ll discuss all of these factors with Drs. Jake Jacomet, Nicholas Dwan, or Andrea Emmerich.
Your treatment plan may include things like a night guard for teeth grinding, physical therapy, and recommendations for adjusting your lifestyle, such as eating soft foods for a few weeks to minimize jaw stress.
Make sure to follow all of the instructions provided as part of your TMJ/TMD treatment plan. You’ll usually come back to our office for a few follow-ups with Drs. Jake Jacomet, Nicholas Dwan, or Andrea Emmerich to discuss your condition and recovery.
TMJ/TMD treatment depends on the extent of your condition. For minor cases, lifestyle changes may be all that are needed to get relief. Moderate cases usually involve treatment with a night guard and medication like muscle relaxers. In some situations where the condition is caused or worsened by a bad bite or misaligned teeth, orthodontics may be recommended. Oral surgery is rarely recommended, and is usually only needed for very severe cases.
Night guards for TMJ/TMD treat teeth grinding, which is a common cause of jaw strain. They protect your teeth and your jaw. But unlike other types of night guards, night guards for TMJ/TMD (also called “oral appliances”) are built to shift the position of your jaw, too. This relieves stress on the delicate jaw joints, and helps them heal and recover more effectively.