TMJ & TMD
The “Temporomandibular Joint” (TMJ), more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint,” assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that “popping” sounds in the jaw indicate a temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), this is not always true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a “popping” sound is present when chewing or talking.
We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold and hot compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMD.
For more serious cases of TMD, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest occulsal adjustments or using a custom mouth guard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ. For the most severe cases of TMD, we may recommend surgical procedures by an Oral Surgeon. As in any case results may vary in individuals.