Treatment of TMD/TMJ Disorder
TMD stands for TemporoMandibular Disorder which is a neuromuscular imbalance of your jaw and facial muscles which lead to various pain patterns throughout your head and neck region. Earaches, clogged ears and headaches are also typical symptoms. Many people used to refer to this and still do as TMJ which solely stands for TemporoMandibular Joint which is the name of the main jaw joint that often is the center of the pain patterns.
TMD can be quite debilitating, worsen over time and can seriously affect the quality of your life. Although stress is a common underlying component of TMD, it’s the mechanical aberrant use of your jaw and its’ muscles that cause the pain patterns. Habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep, clenching during daily activities or athletic endeavors and chewing gum if you are prone to TMD can cause or exacerbate the symptoms.
An often overlooked component of TMD is an unstable bite relationship of your teeth. This can generate many detrimental forces to your joint and muscles making you more prone to symptoms. A simple removable appliance to wear to counter the forces of grinding or clenching (two different activities requiring the distinction to make the proper device) can help stabilize your symptoms. Correcting your underlying bite relationship if needed can stabilize your muscles and keep you symptom free for life. This can be done with Invisalign orthodontics and/or the proper restoration of your teeth with porcelain crowns or onlays to balance your bite. If you have had this problem in the past, speak to us to develop a plan to prevent recurrences and keep you pain free in the future.