TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, is a condition that affects the jaw joint. Symptoms can include pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders and difficulty opening and closing your mouth. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your dental team here at David C. Wood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry right away. Many treatment options are available for TMD, and the best option for you will depend on the severity of your condition. Keep reading to learn the top five common TMD treatment options we use.
Nightguards, or splints, are among the most common TMD treatment options. They are worn over the teeth to protect them from wear and tear caused by teeth grinding and clenching. In addition to protecting the teeth, nightguards also help reduce TMJ stress and relieve pain in the jaw, face, and head. These nightly splints are usually made from soft materials such as silicone or acrylic, making them comfortable to wear and easy to clean. While they’re typically worn at night, they can be worn during the day in extreme cases. If you think a nightguard might be right for you, let’s talk and get you fitted for one right away!
2. Muscle Therapy
Muscle therapy, specifically Botox, is an excellent TMD treatment option for those who don’t love the idea of a nightguard. This treatment involves getting injections in the temporalis and masseter muscles. Injections can also be given around the forehead and temple. The idea here is to limit muscle function so that we can address the outside stressors causing the TMD. Botox injections can also be used for those who suffer from migraines, tension headaches, and clenching or grinding of teeth in their sleep.
3. Bite Adjustments
Bite adjustments are another common TMD treatment option, especially for teens and young adults. If you have an overbite or underbite, you’ll experience dysfunction in the jaw and surrounding muscles. Thankfully, bite adjustments can be made and are used to correct the alignment of the teeth, which can help to relieve pain and reduce tension in the jaw muscles. In some cases, bite adjustments may also be combined with other TMD treatments, such as muscle relaxation exercises or botox injections. If you think you are suffering from TMD, bite adjustments may be an effective treatment option.
You’re likely more familiar with orthodontics when it comes to straightening your smile. But along with a straighter smile comes the added benefit of less jaw pain or even symptoms related to TMD. Realigning the teeth and jaw can alleviate pressure off the jaw joints and muscles, which ultimately reduces the pain. In some cases, orthodontic treatment is used as the bite alignment treatment and prevents future TMD issues. Additionally, straightening teeth can also help improve Bruxism (teeth grinding) and prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw.
Finally, surgery may be your best TMD treatment option if conservative treatment options such as Botox and mouthguards don’t provide relief. There are several types of TMD surgery, including joint replacement, tissue grafting, and tendon release. Each type of surgery is designed to relieve pain and improve function. TMD surgery is typically performed by an oral surgeon or another qualified medical professional. If we consider this your best solution, our entire team will walk you through the process to ensure you understand all involved.
Let’s Fix Your Jaw Pain
Do you live with jaw pain or discomfort? Then call David C. Wood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today. Our dental team offers the latest TMD treatment options, in addition to general dentistry, restorative treatments, and cosmetic dentistry. We proudly serve families throughout Carmel, Zionsville, and Fishers, IN. So, call us today at (317) 844-0592.