Have you spent years dealing with chronic headaches, jaw pain, or neck pain without ever finding relief? If you’ve been to multiple doctors trying to find the source of your symptoms, only to be left with unanswered questions, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). At Titus Dentistry in Middletown, IN, we provide effective TMJ therapy so that you can experience improved comfort and oral function.
Why do people suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder?
Every individual has temporomandibular joints. These complex joints connect the jaw to the skull and are the only joints that move in such a wide range of directions. Dysfunction of these joints can occur for several reasons, from genetics to injury. The most common reasons for TMD are:
- Imbalanced bite that places a strain on the jaw
- Missing teeth
- Ill-fitting restorations
- Chronic stress
- Poor posture
- Airway problems
The symptoms of TMD can show up intermittently for some individuals, while others suffer from constant pain. The most common are:
- Chronic migraines
- Limited mobility of the jaw
- Clicking / popping of the jaw joint
- Neck or ear pain
- Muscle tension
- Shoulder stiffness
Due to the wide range of symptoms, TMD often goes undiagnosed for many years, leaving patients to suffer in silence. The good news is there is relief.
TMD evaluation at Titus Dentistry - Dr. Jonathan W. Titus
What is TMJ?
You may have heard the term TMJ before. TMJ is actually a part of your jaw known as the temporomandibular joint.
When they say they have TMJ, most people are referring to a problem with that joint called TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder.
In a relatively simple simplified form, you can think of your TMJ as a joint in your body. It has a disc that sits in between your lower jawbone and your skull.
Here at Titus Dentistry, our goal is to identify any potential problems with your joint and then help relieve your symptoms as best we can.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
The symptoms we look for that could be pointing towards a problem with your TMJ are muscle tension in your temple region or down through your jaw.
You might have popping or clicking in your joint when you open a certain way or chew. Pain when opening or with biting and chewing.
If you have a limited range of motion with your jaw or clenching and grinding habits. When our patients come to us with TMJ problems, the first thing we do is do a thorough exam.
How do you evaluate and treat TMJ problems?
We evaluate everything from a range of motion of the jaw to having TMJ load testing to ensure that your jaw can bite and chew the way it’s designed to.
We also evaluate your muscles and bite. We even use a handheld doppler and listen to your joint as you go through different motions to see if we can identify exactly what’s going on with your TMJ.
If necessary, you’ll take a Cone Beam CT, a 3D X-ray to see if there are any boney changes in the joint.
On rare occasions, sometimes we’ll even get an MRI to see if we can’t tell what is going on with the soft tissue that cushions the joint.
For most of our patients, a simple bite splint provides significant relief. For many patients, simply wearing this bite splint at night gives their muscles enough of a break to function throughout the day comfortably.
Feel free to give us a call today and learn more about TMJ.
TMJ therapy from your Middletown, IN dentist
At Titus Dentistry, we take your symptoms of TMD very seriously and provide a comprehensive approach to treatment. After a full assessment of your particular symptoms we will create a customized game plan to first, manage your discomfort and then to prevent future issues. Recommendations may include a combination of: lifestyle changes, stress relief exercises, techniques to prevent jaw strain, physical therapy, bite adjustments, custom bite splints, and/or orthodontic treatment. As always, our goal is to provide the least amount of dentistry necessary to solve your particular problem.
Find relief from TMD today
At Titus Dentistry, we understand the effect TMD can have on your life. If you would like to learn more about how TMJ therapy can improve your symptoms, please give us a call at (765) 358-5868 to schedule a consultation.