The condition of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is one that affects a considerable number of people – something close to one out of every eight American adults suffers from it at any given time. It can be a painful and stressful condition to live with, and sufferers will want to explore the full range of treatment options available to them in order to minimize the pain, numbness and other symptoms that this condition can cause. Seeking out a skilled practitioner for TMD therapy is essential if you are to put this unpleasant experience behind you.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a group name for what is actually a potential range of issues with the Temporomandibular joint. It can refer to a degenerative disease in which the joint becomes arthritic, to an injury to the joint in which a disc or other part becomes displaced, or even simply to ongoing pain in the joint area. When it happens, it can impair the way the entire jaw functions, affecting chewing, talking, drinking and even yawning.
Most commonly, you will be diagnosed with TMD if you show signs of any of the above conditions, and if you have reported to a dentist or doctor with multiple of the following symptoms:
- Discomfort in the jaw itself: pain, numbness
- Earaches or tinnitus
- Pain that spreads to the eye sockets or down the neck and shoulder
- Affected movement of the jaw such as clicking, locking or grinding
- Misalignment of top and bottom rows of teeth
- Unusual sensitivity in teeth
Of course, these symptoms can be indicative of other conditions, so always be cautious to discuss yours with your doctor before dismissing any possibilities. If you need TMD therapy, it is best to get it sooner rather than later. This means ruling out other explanations with the help of a doctor.
What is TMD Therapy?
When you seek treatment for TMD at the offices of a dentist in Weatherfield, Texas such as Wood Orthodontics, the process will be governed to some extent by your symptoms and a few other details such as your age, your history and the suitability of certain treatments for your specific case. In almost all cases, your TMD therapy will include resting the joint as much as possible, so be aware of that if your job involves a lot of talking or similar movement. Other elements are likely to include:
- Medicines, which may include relaxants and anti-inflammatories
- Physical therapy
- Stress management and relaxation techniques
- Diet changes (to minimize chewing)
- Ice packs/heat packs
- A mouthguard or other device to prevent clenching and grinding
In more severe or persistent cases, a last resort may be to request surgery on the jaw if it has become damaged extensively over time.
TMD can be extremely problematic for sufferers, and it is worth seeking the intervention and assistance of a dentist who can help you with TMD therapy. The right action at the right time can make a major difference to your ongoing good health and comfort.