TMJ-TMD

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) causes many kinds of symptoms. This term describes a group of problems related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and nearby facial, neck, and head muscles. That is part of the reason why it is oftentimes difficult to correctly diagnose. You may have headaches, tooth pain, or muscle aches.

TMJ / TMD problems include tight muscles, joint inflammation, joint damage, or teeth grinding or clenching. They are often accompanied by joint noise and sometimes clicking, popping, or even locking of the jaw. If the latter occurs, an MRI may be recommended so our orthodontists can accurately diagnose any joint discrepancies.

Sometimes the upper and lower jaws are out of alignment, teeth are out of line, tipped, crowded, or spaced too far apart.
Dr. Feldman, Dr. McDowell, and Dr. Brockway can align the teeth with braces and other devices, and this helps provide a more comfortable bite.

Another way our orthodontists can help manage TMJ / TMD problems is with a splint. A dynamic splint is an appliance made out of hard acrylic that fits in the mouth over the lower teeth (picture shown right). There are different types of splints for different types of needs. A splint can keep the upper and lower teeth apart, provide palliative relief, and simultaneously assist in a definitive diagnosis and resulting management of TMJ / TMD symptoms.

At the initial examination, our doctors will be able to determine a working diagnosis and assess various treatment regimens. He will also decide whether or not an MRI will be necessary. Please contact us to schedule an appointment, and to understand what is needed to help you resolve any TMJ / TMD issues.

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