Have you ever woken up with intense pain in your jaw? Does opening your mouth too far trigger pain near your ears? These are both signs that you might be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
At Really Smile we can treat TMD but we don’t just want to relieve your symptoms! Many treatments for jaw pain rely on making you feel better without actually determining what the root cause is – we don’t want to leave you in that kind of position so we’ll treat you by retraining your muscles!
What Is TMD?
Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that allows your jaw to open and close. Located right in front of your ear canal, it is a simple joint that is cushioned with a small bit of cartilage. There are a lot of reasons that you can end up with pain in your TMJ, which can end up developing into TMD if it becomes chronic.
Symptoms of TMD are numerous but they all boil down to a few basic issues: pain in the jaw, facial muscles, and neck. That pain is accompanied by trouble sleeping, headaches, clicking or popping when you chew, lockjaw, and potential swelling and inflammation around the joint. Our treatment goals are always first and foremost to relieve pain. Then we can start working on treating you to make sure it doesn’t come back!
There are a wide variety of conditions that cause TMD which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to treat properly! Arthritis of the TMJ, a bad bite, teeth clenching and grinding, and slipping of the cartilage disk in the joint are all common causes. It’s very common for treatment to simply involve addressing the symptoms and never treating the problem itself – that’s not the case at our Carmel dentist office!
How We Treat TMD
If you come to Really Smile because of pain in your TMJ we’ll start by taking a series of detailed X-rays and 3D digital images to get a super-accurate and detailed look at your jaw bone and muscles. We want to be able to get a complete look to rule out any potential issues!
We’ll be able to determine possible causes for your TMD and assess the best treatments for you in no time at all! Because all of our imaging equipment is digital we’ll be able to see results almost instantly, allowing you to get the treatment you need in less time than ever before!
Our TMD treatments aren’t just about helping you feel better. We aim to relieve symptoms and treat causes so that you don’t need to worry about discomfort in the future! The most common way to treat TMD is with a mouthguard that you wear at night. These guards are designed to cushion your jaw and relax your muscles so that you wake up feeling rested and comfortable.
While we do use these sorts of mouthguards we don’t believe that treatment stops when you wake up. We design out TMJ mouthguards to be used day and night so that you’re actually correcting your jaw. One of the biggest reasons that TMD continues to cause pain for patients is because you’re only treating symptoms by using a mouthguard for a few hours a day!
Most of the causes of TMD are due to your jaw muscles not being properly aligned. While there may be a need for additional treatment in order to correct your bite or fix a slipped cartilage pad there’s still the underlying cause: your muscles have been mistrained! We prescribe mouthguards that are meant to be worn day and night, at least at first!
By wearing your TMD mouthguard during the day and night you’re helping your muscles find a new home position that allows them to relax. It takes a while to retrain your muscles to work so differently but once you do you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!
Our TMD treatments all aim to correct that muscle problem. Because it is the root cause of so many other symptoms and origins of TMJ pain it can also be the way to solve the problem for most patients!
Get Relief Now!
Don’t accept treatment for your symptoms when we can treat the cause! We’ll have you feeling better in no time and all it takes is that first phone call! If you’re ready to get permanent relief for your TMJ pain call Really Smile in Carmel today!
You can reach us at 317-451-4050 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!