Have you been suffering from TMD? When you close and open your mouth have you noticed that your lower jaw seems to work like a hinge? If you put your hand against the side of your face, you can feel the hinge working. It lays in front of your ear, and its medical name is the temporomandibular joint. It allows you to move the jaw down and up and side to side so you can talk, chew, yawn, etc. Problems can reveal themselves with this particular hinge, and they are called temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
Our jaw is designed to function with the teeth, muscles, and bone, (joints) all in balance. When this balance breaks down, as in cases of missing or worn teeth, trauma, or previous orthodontics, dysfunction can occur. This is called temporo-mandibular dysfunction, or TMD. People that develop TMD can experience temporary or even long-lasting pain that can grow to be severe. It may affect one or both sides of your jaw.
Common Signs and Symptoms of TMD:
- Problems with biting and chewing that become painful and uncomfortable.
- Hear grating sounds, popping, clicking when you close or open your jaw.
- Jaw gets locked open, closed or stuck in one position.
- Cannot open your mouth wide.
- Tenderness in your shoulders, neck, and face.
- Loose teeth.
- Wearing, cracking, splitting of teeth.
- Chronic pain in TMJ, jaw muscles.
- Grinding or clenching.
- Constrained movement and opening of your jaw joints.
- Jaw joint pops and clicks.
- Jaw strain and soreness.
- Shoulder and neck pressure.
- Sinus pressure or feeling of infection.
- Cerebral pain, mainly in the temporal region, up around and behind your eyes.
- Clogged feeling or blocked ear.
- Dizziness and earaches.
Regardless of your symptoms, you should not have to live with this, and you don’t have to. Talk to one our dentists here in Anchorage. Dr. Burke and Dr. Williams have advanced training and experience in treating TMJ/TMD conditions. When you come to visit us, we will listen to your concerns, perform a complete assessment of your condition, and discuss possible solutions for your problem.
Dr. Burke and Dr. Williams utilize sophisticated diagnostic techniques, along with years of experience, to determine the causes of your pain, and develop the best course of treatment for your situation.
After a complete examination, often involving the use of TENS and computerized jaw tracking and muscle monitoring, a diagnosis is established. TMJ/TMD therapy and treatment ranges from the use of acrylic splints to dental orthotics and neuromuscular dentistry. These are meant to restore the balance and jaw alignment necessary for the teeth, muscles and joints to work in harmony to reduce or eliminate your symptoms and pain.