TMJ and TMD Issues
Do you experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain, or ringing in your ears? Do you have trouble opening or closing your mouth all the way? Do you or your partner notice clicking or popping sounds coming from your jaw?
All of these are signs that your TMJ or temporomandibular joint is not functioning correctly. Like any other joint in your body, the TMJ can become sore and overworked. When it does, it results in the painful symptoms listed above.
Pain or problems in the TMJ can have many causes. When you have a chronic issue with your TMJ, we call it temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD).
Call Us for Relief from Your TMJ Pain
If you are dealing with TMJ problems, you may be surprised to learn that a dentist can offer TMJ treatment in Austin, TX. Dr. Sheila Farahani has had years of training to determine the source of your TMJ pain. She will be happy to work with you to develop a treatment plan to bring your jaw back to normal function.
You don’t have to endure the painful symptoms that come with TMJ problems. Please call Harmony Dental Wellness to arrange an appointment to learn about your options for treatment.
- Are TMJ and TMD the same thing?
- Who is at risk for developing TMD?
- How does the jaw joint become painful?
- What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
- Are TMJ problems related to teeth grinding?
- How do you diagnose problems with the TMJ?
- What’s the treatment for TMJ disorder?
- Can a dentist treat TMD?
- Why are my TMD symptoms worse at night?
Are TMJ and TMD the same thing?
TMJ stands for your temporomandibular joint, also called your jaw joint. Your TMJ is the joint that makes the up-and-down and side-to-side movements of your lower jaw possible. You can feel your TMJ move by placing your fingers in front of and slightly below your ears.
- TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder and is the term we use when the jaw joint is not functioning correctly. There are numerous reasons why TMD occurs, but it is very often the result of teeth grinding (bruxism) or a bad dental bite.
- TMJ problems can be complex and challenging even for a professional to diagnose. But Dr. Sheila Farahani uses 3-D imaging technology and years of experience in TMJ treatment in Austin, TX to provide the relief you need.
Please call us to schedule a dental appointment so we can answer all your questions.
Who is at risk for developing TMD?
Identifying the source of your TMD can be challenging because it’s associated with several conditions. Generally speaking, you are at increased risk of TMJ problems if you experience any of the following:
- Teeth grinding or bruxism
- Misaligned or “bad” dental bite
- Arthritis or other joint diseases
- Head or jaw injury
We don’t know the exact number of are affected by TMJ symptoms, but it appears to be more prevalent in women than in men.
If you have any of the above conditions and think it might be related to TMJ pain, please call our Austin, TX dental office to arrange an appointment.
How does the jaw joint become painful?
Your TMJ (jaw joints) is a complex joint that you constantly use to chew, speak, laugh, and yawn. The TMJ works with muscles, ligaments, and cartilage to ensure proper jaw function.
Because the TMJ doesn’t get much of a chance to rest, it can become sore or painful when it’s overworked. This is especially true if the joint isn’t functioning correctly to begin with. And because your TMJ doesn’t have much of a chance to rest, the overuse can cause the painful symptoms we refer to as TMD.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a condition, not a specific disease. The numerous symptoms of TMJ disorder range from mild to severe and may include:
- Pain when chewing
- Sore jaw muscles
- Sensitive teeth
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Pain when opening or closing your mouth
- Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw
For many people, these symptoms aren’t a sign of a severe problem, and only a small percentage develop any significant symptoms over the long-term. Many who experience TMJ pain do so occasionally and in cycles. In some cases, the pain subsides without the need for treatment.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please call Harmony Dental Wellness to arrange an appointment. Dr. Farahani will determine the extent of your problem and recommend the appropriate TMJ treatment at our Austin, TX dental office.
Are TMJ problems related to teeth grinding?
Those who suffer from TMJ problems may experience numerous painful and annoying symptoms, including head, neck, and shoulder pain. Popping and clicking sounds are also common when you move your jaw, as is teeth grinding or bruxism.
When TMD occurs, teeth grinding places excessive force on one side of your jaw that leads to dental wear and erosion. Uneven wear creates a dental bite that’s out of balance and puts increased stress on the TMJ.
In many cases, a removable night guard worn during sleep can help your jaw maintain its proper position. This conservative treatment is often enough to relieve painful symptoms and facilitate healing of the joint.
How do you diagnose problems with the TMJ?
To diagnose TMJ disorder at our Austin, TX dental office, Dr. Farahani performs a comprehensive examination. She has had years of training to determine the source of your problem and develop a plan to bring your TMJ back to its correct function.
During your exam, Dr. Farahani will evaluate your jaw joints and the surrounding muscles to check for symptoms like:
- Reduced range of motion
- Popping or clicking sounds
- Signs of teeth grinding or bruxism
- Crooked or crowded teeth
Dr. Farahani evaluates your dental bite to see how your teeth come together when you bite down. She also utilizes state-of-the-art technology and 3-D imaging combined with T-scan pressure sensing technology. Both enable her to pinpoint the source of your TMJ pain and dysfunction accurately.
What’s the treatment for TMJ disorder?
TMD is a complex condition, and it can be challenging to determine the exact source of the problem. For the most part, the symptoms of TMJ problems are managed rather than cured.
Some of the conservative approaches that Dr. Farahani has found helpful for our patients are:
- Taking ibuprofen or other OTC anti-inflammatories
- Prescription muscle relaxers
- BOTOX® or corticosteroid injections
Non-drug therapies often involve:
- Occlusal guards or oral splints
- Physical therapy
- Stress management and relaxation techniques
Surgery is only an option if we discover that the problem is structural in nature. However, it should only be considered after carefully weighing the pros and cons with your doctor.
Please call us so Dr. Farahani can determine the source of your jaw pain and develop a plan to treat your TMJ pain at our Austin, TX dental office.
Can a dentist treat TMD?
At Harmony Dental Wellness, we tend to take a conservative approach to manage TMD symptoms.
Dr. Farahani can customize an FDA-approved oral device to help balance your dental bite if we determine that your symptoms are the result of teeth grinding. The appliance fits comfortably over your teeth and relieves pressure on your jaw joints, allowing them to rest and recover.
Many of our patients also find relief by using hot or cold compresses applied to the sore area. If your TMJ pain is stress-related, we may recommend that you make some lifestyle changes:
- Avoid chewing gum or foods that cause discomfort
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine
- Avoid making exaggerated movements with your jaw
- Try meditation or yoga to help minimize your general stress level
Dr. Farahani has helped many of her patients successfully manage and even eliminate the painful symptoms of TMD. The first step is to call Harmony Dental Wellness to learn more about TMJ treatment in Austin, TX
Why are my TMD symptoms worse at night?
Teeth grinding or bruxism is one of the causes of TMJ pain. The habit is often stress-related, but may also result from a dental bite that’s off-balance, meaning you bite down harder on one side than the other.
Stress-related teeth grinding occurs anytime, but many people who grind their teeth do so during sleep without being aware of it. The first indication you may have that you are grinding your teeth is pain in the jaw joint, headaches, or shoulder pain.