Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) causes neck, jaw, head, and shoulder pain when the soft joint that lays between your skull and lower jaw gets inflamed. It is also often accompanied by a clicking or popping sound in your jaw, and by reduced range of motion, pain, and discomfort when you try to open and close your mouth. Your dentist can screen, identify, and help to treat TMD.
TMJ Treatment Near You
We screen for TMD by asking you three TMD-related questions during regular checkups. First, are you aware of any habit of grinding your teeth? Second, have you noticed any clicking or popping sound in your jaw? Finally, do you experience any range of motion limitations when opening or closing your jaw? Screening enables early identification of problems before they become serious.
Some patients with TMD symptoms also present symptoms of sleep bruxism, a condition when you clench your teeth while sleeping. It causes dental-related symptoms but also non-tooth-related symptoms that overlap considerably with TMD. Those teeth-related symptoms include: painful and sensitive teeth; loose and chipped teeth; worn down tooth enamel; damaged dental work; and flattened teeth. You may also experience headaches that feel a lot like earaches. Patients also describe fatigue and difficulty fully opening their jaw.
There are two stages to TMJ treatment in Calgary, AB: a customized mouthguard; and re-shaping your teeth. Your dentist will fit you with a custom-moulded mouthguard to impose a physical barrier between your teeth to prevent you from grinding them together as you clench your jaw.
The second stage of TMJ treatment near you, which begins after you have worn the mouthguard while sleeping, is to reshape the biting surfaces of your teeth, including where and how they meet. The combination of wearing a mouthguard and the reshaping of your teeth may resolve your TMD symptoms. If not, your dentist may recommend orthodontics to reposition your teeth or surgery to adjust your jaw.
Key Points About TMJ Treatment
- You should not use a mouthguard purchased over the counter or online to treat TMD, sleep bruxism, or obstructive sleep apnea. The first stage of TMJ treatment near you is a custom-formed rigid mouthguard from your dentist.
- Always tell your dentist about any symptoms affecting your sleep, neck, jaw, face, and head.