3 Tips for Managing your Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
If you are one of the 33% of the population that suffers from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) then you know the pain that can be caused from this debilitating condition.
Often those who suffer TMD are known to experience nagging headaches or migraines, difficulty chewing, facial pain, locked jaw, clicking sounds, among others, that cause discomfort to the face, neck, ears and mouth. Here at Michelle Enmark, DDS Cosmetic and Restorative Dentists in Sacramento California, we help our patients deal with their TMD suffering.
What exactly is TMD and why is it causing me so much pain?
TMD is a dysfunction of the muscles used for mastication (the action of chewing and eating/opening the jaw up and down) and the temporomandibular joints (the joints which connect the mandible ‘lower jaw’ to the skull). The result of this dysfunction is pain, followed by restricted mandibular movement and often noises from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) during jaw movement. TMD is not life threatening, but it can certainly effect the quality of life with chronic symptoms that can be difficult to manage.
1# Be aware and take it easy…
Scientific research reveals that over 50% of TMD patients treated with conservative management have few or no ongoing symptoms of TMD. Conservative treatments include:
- Physical therapy (exercise and strengthening your jaw muscles)
- Avoid opening your mouth any wider than needed, try not to put pressure on your muscles by opening your mouth any more then you need to
- Try to stay clear of hard or chewy food that will put extra pressure on your jaw
Here at Michelle Enmark, DDS we work with our patients to help develop a treatment plan with comfort and custom fitting oral appliances that can relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing.
2# Did you know that Botox can help relieve TMD caused pain?
Botox treatments are synonymous with cosmetic surgery and beauty therapy, but did you know that Botox can actually help relieve pain caused from TMD? Botox is an injection that essentially numbs nerve signals to certain muscles. This allows TMD sufferers to have some relief from the tension caused by the jaw. A clenching jaw is often what causes debilitating head pains. Bruxism, a disorder caused from clenching or grinding while you sleep may also induce temporomandibular joint dysfunction, which will lead to nagging headaches and other oral heath problems. At Michelle Enmark, DDS we also offer mouth guards for nightly wear to help fight the habit of bruxism while you’re sleeping.
It’s important to note that Botox does wear off, which means that repeat sessions are required to treat your TMD.
3# See a dental professional to assist with the best treatment for your needs…
Here at Michelle Enmark, DDS in Sacramento we ensure our patients are part of the decision making process for all treatments. We will do a full assessment of your mouth and discuss the most effective treatment for you. If you are suffering from chipped or cracked teeth, uneven jaw pain, jagged teeth or constant migraines you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) and should see a professional for pain relief.
No one likes suffering through a headache or migraine, so whether our Botox treatment or our alternative non-surgical treatments are required to help ease your pain, we are committed to helping our patients deal with TMD caused discomfort. Sufferers should consider the food they consume and avoid over exerting their jaw as a conservative self-treatment to help prevent future pain. Michelle Enmark, DDS are devoted to treating TMD patients and will work with you to help ease some of the pain.
For more information on our TMD treatment, or to book an appointment at our conveniently located dental practice in Sacramento, please do not hesitate to contact us.