Don’t Just Treat Your Pain – Prevent It
One of the most common conditions that patients rarely realize they have is TMJ or TMD. Do you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines? What about jaw pain, stiffness, popping, or locking? If these symptoms sound all too familiar, you may suffer from TMD.
The good news? Our doctors at Complete Dental Care can provide a simple, non-invasive, yet highly effective device to not only treat your pain – but prevent it from happening in the first place.
What is TMJ / TMD?
And what’s with all the acronyms? Let us explain. TMJ stands for the Temporomandibular Joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, and describes any disorder afflicting the TMJ or jaw joint. To make things confusing, these terms are often used interchangeably, and are sometimes even called TMJD. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use TMD here to describe any dysfunction of the jaw joint.
TMD is characterized by:
- Pain in the face, neck, shoulders and jaw joint area when you speak, chew or open your mouth
- Your jaw gets stuck or locks in the open or closed position
- Your face feels tired
- Trouble chewing or it feels like your upper and lower teeth are not connecting the right way
- Facial swelling
- Clicking, popping or grinding sounds in your jaw joint when you open and close your mouth
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Chronic pain of the myofascial region (head, neck, jaw, mouth, face, shoulders)
- Ringing in the ears
What causes TMD?
While there a number of factors that can contribute to your TMD, chronic stress is the number one factor. We all hold stress in different places in our body. Some people hold it in their back or shoulders, some people clench their fists or have restless legs, but many of us tend to hold our stress in our jaw joint.
This stress manifests itself in what we call bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching. For many patients, some clenching or grinding sometimes is not a problem. For others, it is happening all the time without them even being aware, and can cause serious pain and problems.
Aside from stress, TMD can also be caused by an imbalance of forces in your mouth (tooth loss can cause this), bite misalignment, injury, or whiplash.
Treatment with Oral Appliance Therapy
If any of the above signs and symptoms hit all too close to home, your Greenville dentists have a wonderful treatment option for you. Oral appliance therapy is essentially a custom mouth guard that you wear during sleep that prevents the clenching and grinding that is the source of all your woes.
Yes, you CAN treat your TMD and prevent your pain without invasive surgery or orthodontics. Oral appliance therapy is non-invasive, comfortable, and highly effective in treating TMJ disorders, and has changed countless patients’ lives by eliminating the tension that is causing all their pain.
If you’re ready to take control of your TMD and remember what it was like to live a pain-free life, you’ve come to the right place. If you have any questions about TMJ, TMD, or oral appliance therapy, or are ready to schedule a consultation with your Greenville dentist – Dr. Jackson Bean or Dr. William Knoderer at Complete Dental Care – give us a call today at (903) 771-2888.