The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the rest of the skull and is used each time we chew or speak. If this joint becomes hyperactive, damaged, or inflamed, you may experience varying degrees of jaw muscle pain and other symptoms. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMD, is a condition characterized by the malfunction of the joint, and can be the result of a misaligned jaw, repetitive teeth clenching, teeth grinding, or simply overuse. Though the cause does originate in the jaw, TMD can ultimately lead to facial, head, neck, shoulder, and back pain when left untreated. To address these symptoms and the causes of TMD, our experienced dentist—John Cross, DDS—offers his patients a number of treatment options that can permanently realign the jaw, restore muscle balance, and alleviate discomfort.
TMD is a serious condition that can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Difficulty or discomfort when eating
- Popping or clicking of the jaw muscle and/or bone
- Frequent headaches
- Unexplained dizziness
- Trouble opening and closing the mouth
- Facial pain
- Shoulder, neck, and back pain
- Numbness or tingling through the arms or fingers
To determine if you are suffering from TMD, Dr. Cross will perform a careful examination of the mouth, jaw, face, and neck. Once Dr. Cross has evaluated your condition and diagnosed it as TMJ Disorder, he will recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
If you are diagnosed with TMD, a number of treatment options are available that can alleviate your pain or permanently resolve the condition. Bite realignment and muscle balance therapy can often be accomplished with customized oral appliances, nightguards, or orthodontics. In some cases, tooth restoration can also help restore the normal function of the TMJ.
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If you believe you may be suffering from TMJ Disorder, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cross, please contact us today.