Coping with TMJ disorder – TMD Edmonton
General Dentist and Cosmetic Dental Services in Edmonton, Alberta
If you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, sometimes referred to as TMD or TMJ for short, then you are familiar with the achy, throbbing pain in your jaw joints. The pain may be accompanied by headaches, migraines, as well as neck and facial pain. You may find that you have swelling around your jaw joints, or that your jaw ‘clicks’ when you open and close it.
Causes of TMD
TMD is almost always multifactorial. Contributing factors include, but are not limited to:
- Bruxism. Grinding the teeth or clenching the jaw, either during the day or at night, has been shown to increase jaw pain.
- Stress. Stress can increase or trigger TMJ pain.
- Alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine when consumed in excess, can worsen TMD symptoms
- Chronic conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. TMD often co-occurs with these conditions. Speak to your doctor about pain management options.
- Misalignment. If your teeth are misaligned, uneven pressure can cause pain in the TMJ joints.
TMD is a manageable condition. Your dentist will look at your history and evaluate your jaw and mouth to determine the correct treatment plan for you. Possible treatments could include:
- Nightguard. If clenching and grinding is contributing to your pain, your dentist will likely suggest a nightguard to be worn at night to alleviate the pressure on your jaw.
- Managing stress. Stress management techniques, such as talk therapy or gentle exercise,have been shown to help ease symptoms of TMD.
- Medication. Your dentist may suggest over the counter pain relievers, such as Advil, or may prescribe you something to help manage the pain and discomfort.
- Orthodontics. If misalignment is contributing to your TMD, orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign can help bring your teeth into a more healthy alignment.
If you are suffering from TMD pain, it is best to go see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist may want to take X-rays before diagnosing you with TMD or prescribing a treatment plan. At Focus on Smiles, we us neuromuscular dentistry to address the nerves, muscles, and alignment of the jaw. Neuromuscular dentists can diagnose TMD and correct the bite by realigning the jaw, thus relieving the pain.