An Overview of TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder (TMD) is a common condition that affects over three million people each year. Stemming from various medical conditions, TMD causes damage and inflammation in the temporomandibular joints. These joints, also known as TMJs, connect the jaw to the skull. They are powerful and allow for a wide range of motion. However, when they are damaged, they can cause numerous symptoms, often including severe jaw pain. We can evaluate your TMJ disorder symptoms and pain and provide treatment at our Rockwall, TX, dental practice. Rockwall Family Dentistry uses oral appliance therapy for non-invasive care with fast results. We also utilize the state-of-the-art TruDenta® system for more accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
If you are suffering from TMD, you have structural damage in your jaw joints or inflammation in the surrounding soft tissues. Often, damage can involve a slipped disc. When a cushioning disc in your TMJ slips out of place, the two sides of the joint will grate together. The friction can be painful. This damage can also lead to soft tissue swelling and tenderness. The type and extent of the damage you have sustained will affect what type of symptoms you experience. TMJ disorder symptoms can include:
- Jaw pain
- Chronic headaches
- Ear pain or ringing in your ears
- A popping noise when you open or close your mouth
- Difficulty moving your jaw
- Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain
What Causes TMD?
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of TMD. Jaw and dental misalignment are two common reasons for the condition. Misalignment can place uneven pressure on your TMJs, which can weaken and irritate your joints. Chronic teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism) can lead to TMJ disorder for similar reasons.
Physical trauma, such as a car or sports accident can also contribute to TMD. For example, a hit to the face can crack your joints or cause a slipped disc. Whiplash or similar damage can stretch the muscles in your face and neck.
Diagnosing and Treating TMJ Disorder
If you are suffering from symptoms of TMD, Dr. Cozby will use our innovative TruDenta® system to provide a diagnosis. With our T-scan® device, she will evaluate the force of your bite and determine exactly where your joints face the most pressure. She will also measure and observe the movements of your head and neck. Taking this full-body approach, she can provide the most effective relief possible.
The team at Rockwall Family Dentistry understands TMJ disorder and the pain and discomfort it can cause.
After she has diagnosed your condition and determined the root cause of your discomfort, she will create a treatment plan specifically for you. Oral appliances are an integral part of our approach to TMD. By pushing your lower jaw slightly forward, an appliance can relieve pressure within your damaged joints.
We offer several types of appliances, and Dr. Cozby will chose the one that is right for you. Additionally, our TruDenta® system allows us to provide multi-stage treatment, combining some of the most advanced technologies available. Depending on your needs, we may recommend cold laser therapy, ultrasound treatments, or massage.
Contact Rockwall Family Dentistry Today
The team at Rockwall Family Dentistry understands TMJ disorder and the pain and discomfort it can cause. To learn more about TMD or to schedule a diagnostic consultation, contact our dental practice today.