Symptoms of temporomandibular disorder or TMD range from tender muscles and pain to clicking or popping noises when you open or close your mouth. If you notice these symptoms, call a dentist.
In Dr. Christopher Griffin’s low volume general and family dentistry office in Greenwood, SC, you find a caring, professional dentist and staff to address your needs and concerns. We take as much time as you need to discuss your options and create a treatment plan. As you prepare for your appointment, note when the symptoms began, if they’ve occurred before, and medications and supplements you take regularly. In addition, has your level of stress increased recently? Are you having headaches, toothaches, or neck pain? Dr. Griffin may ask if your pain is constant or if the symptoms come and go. He’ll inquire if any particular activities trigger the pain. A common symptom of TMD is clicking and popping when you move the jaw. Is it doing that? If so, is it painful? Are you having difficulty opening and closing your mouth? Next, he examines your mouth. He examines your jaw and he listens to it when you open and close your mouth and observes its range of motion. He then presses on areas surrounding your jaw to determine any site of pain. You may need X-rays or a CT scan so he can have a detailed view of the joint. If you are diagnosed with TMD, there’s a variety of treatment options including:
Pharmaceutical treatment Medications prescribed include pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and sedatives. Pain relievers are over-the-counter medications that relieve pain. If those aren’t strong enough, the antidepressants may provide relief. You could take muscle relaxants for a few days to a few weeks. Sedatives may alleviate pain if the cause of TMD is nighttime teeth clenching,
Appliance therapy Bite problems are common in patients with TMD. One of the solutions is a splint. This reduces stress on the jaw and allows the muscles to function optimally or cover deflecting interferences affecting the bite. This allows the lower jaw to reposition into the socket properly. Dr. Griffin also asks you to wear a mouth guard at night. This supports the joints and controls your bite forces. It gives your teeth a protective barrier. Since the barrier props your mouth open, the muscles won’t grind, clench or overwork. Medical procedures Another alternative is a treatment called occlusal equilibration. This involves reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth and eliminating deflective interferences allowing the jaw to close properly. You may experience pain relief immediately with this procedure.
Arthrocentesis is a procedure that involves inserting needles into the joint. The injected fluid irrigates through the joint and removes inflammatory byproducts and debris.
Some may opt for Botox injections into the jaw muscles used for chewing.
Although conservative treatment is optimal, severe and rare cases of TMD may require surgery.
If you have experienced any TMD symptoms, call us immediately at (864) 229-2610. Together, we’ll come up with the best treatment plan.