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TMD

Did you know Dr. Sara also offers treatment for jaw pain, also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD)? She does! If you suspect you might be experiencing TMD or some subjset of jaw pain, the first step in treatment is to receive a proper examination and diagnosis from Dr. Sara in North Scottsdale. Once you receive a proper diagnosis, the next step is treatment planning because there is a different treatment option for everyone.

TMD severity will vary from person to person, which means there are a variety of options for you to choose from that will best suit your needs. Let’s take a look at a few common treatment plans for TMD, starting with Oral Appliance Therapy:

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is a very helpful and successful technique in treating Temporomandibular joint dysfunction. These devices are extremely popular among TMD patients due to the simplicity and comfort of the appliance. People describe the appliance as being similar to a retainer for orthodontic treatments.

These appliances are made to fit your mouth and your mouth only, completely unique! Some of these devices are meant to move the lower jaw forward, while others simply prevent the tongue from falling backward which in turn would block the airway. These appliances are the most effective treatment in preventing and/or controlling sleep apnea related disorders.

TMD Splints

Another popular option for TMD treatment is a splint. Splints are put in place and prevent the upper and lower teeth from touching. These are typically worn at night to avoid any teeth clenching or grinding which would result in pain the next morning. Wearing these splints will enable your jaw muscles and joints to relax and heal, relieving you from any pain.

Medication Options

For less severe cases, over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs would work just as well. The most typical medicine prescribed for TMD is muscle relaxants due to their ability to help loosen tight muscles. This is especially popular for those who grind or clench their teeth. With any situation, it is important to speak with your doctor about which direction is best for you.

So, what’s next? After reviewing the available options for your TMD treatment plan in North Scottsdale, Dr. Sara will help you pick a path that best meets your individual needs. With a treatment planned out, you will be on the road to living a pain free, happy life again.

It can be easy to notice signs and symptoms of temporomanibular disorder (TMD) on yourself because it is usually accompanied with some sort of discomfort. It is important to be observant and look for these symptoms. With the help of Dr. Sara you will be able to find a treatment plan that solves all of your problems!

What are the Signs and Symptoms of TMD?

When eating you may notice a clicking or popping sound in the jaw, which becomes quite an annoying sound and feeling. In more serious cases, the jaw may even get stuck in the open or closed position. Oftentimes, avoiding this condition is impossible because of the pain it causes. This is a disorder that is often overlooked, but it can be very serious if left untreated. If you think you are suffering from TMD, take note of these signs:

    • Pain when chewing
    • Pain when talking
    • Clicking/popping in the jaw
    • Pain/tenderness in the jaw region
    • Lock-jaw

What are the causes of TMD?

As you know, we are all different, and that means the causes of TMD will vary from person to person. This is especially true when taking into account the severity of the situation. Typically, any injury involving your jaw, jaw joint, or the muscles in your neck, such as whiplash or a heavy blow to the face, can be a major contribution to TMD. 

In other instances, grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw can play a major role in the development of TMD. Putting any added stress on the jaw can cause an onset of TMD. And, in more serious cases, arthritis could be forming in the joint, causing you extreme discomfort. All of these instances can lead to a diagnosis of TMD, which means you need to visit your dentist today for further diagnosis.

Contact Dr. Sara today to learn more about TMD and to find out if you suffer from this condition. Remember, pain is not something you should ever “just deal” with. There is relief in sight.

If you grind your teeth, it can lead to long-term problems. Teeth grinding is often caused by stress, anxiety, poor alignment or even missing teeth. Unfortunately, as a result, this condition can wreak havoc on your oral health and even the overall appearance of your smile. Luckily, there are some fixes available to help restore your smile and prevent further damage. Here are some of the different things that happen if you’re a teeth grinder.

Headaches and a sore jaw

While it is common to experience a headache and sore jaw upon waking, you don’t have to just “put up with” the pain. When you grind your teeth, it activates the muscles in your jaw and the sides of your head. It can even trigger the muscles in your neck and shoulders. As a result of constant muscle spasms, this is why you are experiencing headaches. Another symptom of teeth grinding is ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, which occurs because the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the lower jaw is next to the ear.

Worn enamel

Teeth grinding can also wear down your dental enamel, which is the protective layer that shelters dentin. When your enamel is worn down, it can lead to exposed dentin, as well as a change in the color of your teeth. Unprotected dentin can cause your teeth to take on a yellow or orange color. It can also increase your chances of getting a cavity. To make matters worse, damage to your enamel can also make your teeth look shorter. And to build that back up, you will often need crowns and veneers.

The development of TMJ problems

Through repetitive grinding, the muscles in your lower jaw can lock up. Teeth grinding causes stress in the two joints of the skull and mandible. This can lead to inflammation, muscle soreness and even hypertrophy of the muscles. As a result, it can make the jawline look wider and, in the long run, it can destroy bone, cartilage and ligaments of the joints. How the joint opens and closes can become significantly altered and TMD can develop, which can often be treated with an oral appliance.

Contact Dr. Sara in North Scottsdale for more information on teeth grinding and what can be done to improve your oral and overall health.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is a common condition, but not many people are aware they suffer from this condition. An estimated 10 million to 35 million Americans currently suffer from TMD, with women being impacted more often than men. Now that is a lot of people! And to think, not many even realize they suffer from this painful condition. If you suffer from TMD, it is important to visit Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry (PPFD) to gain a better understanding of what treatment options are available to help eliminate your pain.

What is Oral Appliance Therapy for TMD?

While TMD cannot be completely cured, it can be treated to eliminate and manage pain. The first goal of treatment is to relieve the muscle spasm and pain, in addition to establishing normal range of motion of the lower jaw. At Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry, we will work with you to determine the best oral appliance therapy option for your individual symptoms.

Oral appliances, or TMD orthotics, resemble mouth guards—they easily form to the teeth for optimal protection and treatment. While one appliance option might work for one patient, it may not work for another patient. This is why we create custom oral appliances to meet each individual’s needs for TMD treatment in North Scottsdale, AZ.

Through TMD oral appliances, you can receive pain relief from TMD. Take charge of your health today by contacting us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry in North Scottsdale, AZ. We look forward to being your partner in improved health and reduction of TMD pain.

Diagnosing temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) can often be difficult. Why? Because of a less than clear understanding of the causes and exact symptoms affecting TMD and the surrounding muscles—many healthcare professionals are hesitant. Fortunately, many dentists who have completed continuing education courses are able to properly diagnose TMD. And they’re not afraid to look deeper into the condition.

The Characteristics of TMD

Symptoms of TMD are characteristic of a number of other conditions, which is why diagnosis can be extremely difficult. Some symptoms that might mimic the characteristics of TMD include:

  • Toothache
  • Sinus infection
  • Ear infection
  • Facial neuralgias
  • Myofascial pain
  • Headaches

If pain in the jaw area is being experienced, tests will be recommended to rule out or confirm the presence of any conditions, including TMD.

The TMD Diagnosis

When conducting an examination of a patient experiencing pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region, a detailed health history will be taken to look for any injuries, traumas, procedures or conditions that may be contributing to the apparent symptoms. Your TMJ will also be examined, along with the bones and muscles of the jaw, mouth, face, neck and head to note the following:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Limited motion
  • Locking of the jaw when opening, closing, or moving the jaw side-to-side

While there is no standard, widely accepted test used to diagnose TMD, there are several tests that might aid in the diagnostic process:

  • X-rays of the face, joint and teeth
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)

A majority of TMD cases cannot be cured, but there are treatment options available to help prevent the worsening of your condition, as well as pain. The underlying cause of TMD does not need to be known to provide quality care for someone diagnosed with TMD.

Contact us at Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry to learn more about TMD and how we can help combat your pain. Reach out today—there’s no sense in just “dealing with” pain.

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