Individuals whose jaw clicks or pops when the mouth opens and closes, whose face sometimes inexplicably aches, who experience frequent headaches or pain in the neck and shoulder, may actually be suffering from a condition known as TMD. TMJ is the name of the joints of the jaw, the temporomandibular joints. TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) is the term used when these joints become dysfunctional.
In the event these joints fail to function properly, a host of unpleasant symptoms may develop:
- Limited range of motion in the jaw
- Generalized aching in the face or jaw
- Popping or clicking when chewing or speaking
- The jaw may lock open
- A dramatic change in how teeth fit together
- Excessive wear to teeth
- Discomfort when speaking or chewing
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
The presence of any of these symptoms could indicate TMD. However, they may not be recognized as such if not assessed by a skilled practitioner. When the proper diagnosis is made and treatment is tailored around the extent of the problem, our Cincinnati area patients find great relief from joint dysfunction.
The dental treatment for TMD is oral appliance therapy. This convenient, comfortable form of treatment is designed to keep the jaw properly positioned while simultaneously protecting the teeth from excessive stress. The oral appliance designed by your dentist is customized so it is comfortable enough to sleep in, or even wear throughout the day.
The smile is a vital contributor to an individual’s quality of life. This is true in every facet, from how the look of the smile affects our level of confidence to how oral function, or dysfunction, allows us to comfortably speak, smile, laugh, and enjoy our favorite foods. TMD is a condition that may be mild or severe. What is consistent is that this problem does not go away on its own. For that reason, it is important to discuss potential signs of TMD with your dentist right away.
The team at West Chester Dental Group provides outstanding dental care for every member of your family. To schedule your visit with us, contact our office at (513)942-8181.