Jaw Pain? Headaches? Clicks or pops in the jaw? You could be suffering from TMD or TMJ pain
The joint that connects the lower and upper jaw – known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) – is one of the most complex joints in the body. Part of what makes the TMJ unusual is that, unlike any other joint, the TMJ can be affected profoundly by the positioning of your teeth. If your bite is misaligned, for instance, it can cause the TMJs to close awkwardly, possibly leading to soreness. This may be the beginning of TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). The condition may also result in headaches, migraines or other facial pains, and may even cause pain in the neck and shoulders or persistent ringing in the ears.
TMD is a degenerative condition and may worsen over time if no remedial action is taken. If left untreated, TMD can lead to episodic or even permanent lockjaw, as well as severe joint deterioration.
Getting help for TMD
It’s important to take action as soon as possible if you think you may be suffering from TMD. If you live in the Delaware area, we encourage you to make an appointment to see Dr. B. James Rogge at Walker Dental Associates in Dover.
The critical task in treating TMD is ensuring that your bite—which is interfering with the functionality of the TMJ—is adjusted so that your jaw can open and close without stressing and irritating your joints. There are several therapies and medications available to assist in the corrective process, such as the use of splint therapy or oral appliance therapy, where the patient wears a sturdy splint, often only at night, in an effort to correct the problematic bite, and the ensuing misalignment of the jaw.
You will find products offered over-the-counter which purportedly help with TMD. These products are often fairly flexible and may be comfortable to wear. While they may temporarily relieve some of the jaw pain and headaches associated with TMD, these products don’t provide patients with the long-term adjustments that will solve the problem on a permanent basis.
Get a thorough evaluation
If you reside in Dover or the surrounding area and are suffering from persistent jaw pain or soreness, headaches, migraines, or bouts of lockjaw, we encourage you to schedule an appointment for an evaluation with Dr. Rogge. We are able to provide non-surgical TMJ and TMD solutions in many cases.