Even though the main cause of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) which affects the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is still unknown, medical professionals can trace some of the causes to teeth grinding and lifestyle habits that place excessive pressure on the jaw joint. Scientists believe that many symptoms associated with TMD, such as jaw pain, swelling, discomfort, and earaches, are a result of problems with the muscles of the jaw or with certain parts of the joint. If you are experiencing TMD symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. David Rosen in Lexington, MA to discuss some of the most effective treatment options.
Causes of TMD
Some of the known contributors to TMD include:
• Trauma to the mouth or jaw area
• Teeth grinding (bruxism)
• Habit of clenching the teeth
• Rheumatoid arthritis
TMD Treatment Options
In some cases, TMD symptoms do end up going away on their own when the jaw joint has a chance to recover. Dr. Rosen may recommend home treatments and self-care techniques, such as taking anti-inflammatory pain medication, limiting your diet to soft foods, and applying warm compresses on the areas that are tender or painful.
If your TMD symptoms do not go away on their own, medical treatment may be necessary. You can do some muscle stretching and relaxation exercises at home to relax the jaw. Dr. Rosen may also recommend that you be fitted with a splint or a night guard that fits over either your upper or lower teeth, much like a mouth sports guard. A splint is especially effective for preventing teeth grinding and clenching of the teeth at night. This in turn helps to alleviate muscle tension and reduces stress in the area.
More invasive procedures might include cortisone shots to reduce some of the inflammation and pain. A very small percentage of patients with TMD need jaw joint replacement surgery, which replaces the jaw joint with an artificial implant.
If you are suffering from TMD, talk with Dr. Rosen about TMD treatment to relieve jaw pain and to break the habit of teeth grinding. Set up your consultation today!