Greenwood area dentist answers, what are TMJ disorders?
Patients in and around the Greenwood area who visit with Dr. Christopher T. Griffin often ask about problems associated with the TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint. This joint, which hinges the jawbones, is used to open and close the mouth and control the function of the jaw. However, many patients struggle with chronic TMJ disorders. Patients who are faced with this pain and discomfort may want to learn more, and often ask, “What are TMJ disorders?”
The TMJ can become problematic due to injury, dislocation of the jaw, or a displaced disc. When this occurs, patients may experience pain and discomfort in the muscles and around the joint. This myofascial pain may be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications, but it does not solve the problem at hand.
Patients who visit Dr. Christopher T. Griffin and have been diagnosed with TMJ disorders, often referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), may also be dealing with other coexisting problems including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and regular sleep disturbances due to bruxism (clenching and grinding the teeth during sleep). In order to address these concerns, a dentist or other professional practitioner must first give a proper diagnosis and then work with the patient to develop a treatment plan appropriate for their condition.
For most patients, a simple oral appliance can be used to help realign the jaw and reduce the problems associated with this condition. Dr. Christopher T. Griffin uses medical-grade oral appliances that patients can wear when they sleep to reduce problems such as bruxism and the pain and discomfort that can radiate to the head and down to the shoulders due to tension of the joint and muscles in this area. Patients may also benefit from regular facial massages, which can reduce stiffness around the muscles and bone.
If you live in the Greenwood area and believe you may be struggling with a TMJ disorder, it is a great time to contact Dr. Christopher T. Griffin to receive a proper diagnosis and to speak with a dental professional about the best methods of reducing problems associated with TMD. Whether it’s oral appliance therapy, massage therapy, or even surgical intervention, Dr. Christopher T. Griffin can educate you on the methods of treatment available.
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