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.
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.
If you haven’t scheduled your complimentary consultation yet, get started today. You have nothing to lose, only confidence to gain!