Managing TMJ/TMD

Night Guards and Other Treatments

TMD and TMJ Teatment

You may not know it by name, but your temporomandibular joint plays a critical role in letting you chew, talk, yawn and generally move your jaw. When you develop a problem with this joint, we call it a temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, but most people outside the practice of medicine and dentistry mistakenly call it TMJ.

Disorders of the temporomandibular joint can be painful, and they can be caused by teeth grinding, arthritis, stress and injuries such as whiplash. If you are experiencing pain in your jaw or the inability to chew or talk properly, it’s important that you visit a medical professional such as a dentist for an accurate diagnosis. At Brosy Family Dentistry, we have more than 30 years’ worth of experience in dealing with TMD. See how we can help.

What to Expect with TMJ

You may experience soreness in your face, including pain in the jaw area radiating to your shoulders and neck. This may be exacerbated when you try to talk or chew food. You also may not be able to open your mouth completely, or when you do, you hear a popping or clicking noise.

Many cases of TMD are caused by bruxism, which is the excessive or prolonged grinding of the teeth. This can lead to TMD and further problems with the mouth and teeth, so it’s important that you visit Dr. Erin Anderson as soon as you suspect there is a problem. If left unchecked, grinding-related TMD can cause enamel to wear down, exposing the teeth’s dentin. Decay can often result.

TMJ Treatment Overview

When you visit the Brosy team, you’ll receive a full consultation where Dr. Anderson will determine whether you’re suffering from TMD or another issue. In some very severe cases, surgery may be required, but in most cases, TMD is treatable with pain relievers and a hot/cold compress. Dr. Anderson may give you a night guard to help lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. With most TMD cases, behavioral treatments that help you change the way you use your jaw muscles are highly effective.

TMJ/TMD Post-Op Instructions

In most cases, surgery is not required, but if it is, Dr. Anderson will provide you with the appropriate follow-up instructions to help you heal properly. If Dr. Anderson prescribes a night guard, be sure to follow the instructions carefully to help reduce or eliminate the effects of TMD.