Does your jaw click, pop, or hurt when you open or close your mouth? Do you have “mystery” headaches or even toothaches that come and go? Do your ears ring? If so, you may have a condition known as temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. Dr. Dick Davenport at Davenport Dental Group in Laredo, TX provides effective relief for TMD.
The joints that allow your jaw to move in all directions are called the temporomandibular joints, or TMJ. They’re complex joints in which things have to slide smoothly for them to work right. When something interferes with that motion, a host of problems can result. The condition is informally known as TMJ, but more accurately it’s TMD – temporomandibular disorder.
There are many possible causes for TMD: arthritis in the joints, damage due to impact, teeth clenching and grinding, chronic stress, muscle imbalances, teeth alignment issues, and even constant gum chewing! In some cases, the cause can’t be determined but the condition can be diagnosed and treated.
What TMD Is Like
You might not think that jaw problems would cause symptoms elsewhere, but that’s what can happen with TMD.
- Your jaw locks when you try to open or close it.
- You hear and/or feel grinding, clicking or popping.
- You have pain when chewing or trouble chewing.
- You experience random pain in one or more teeth.
- You have unexplained headaches.
- Your shoulders are tight and painful.
- Your ears ring, maybe constantly or intermittently.
- You have unexplained facial pain.
- You experience earaches at random.
TMD is generally diagnosed on the basis of these symptoms. However it is possible to detect the grinding (crepitation) that results from arthritis and also muscle imbalances that can contribute to the disorder. Bite issue are easily detected as is premature wear and tear on your tooth enamel due to grinding and clenching. Early intervention is essential to avoid damaging your teeth which can lead to dental infections and expensive dental work.
Get Effective Relief From TMD Problems
Depending on the underlying cause or causes, some people may need treatment for arthritis. The vast majority of people can benefit greatly from a customized oral appliance, or mouthguard, that is usually worn while sleeping.
A customized oral appliance puts an end to teeth grinding and clenching during sleep which will help preserve your tooth enamel. The appliance will also help to relieve muscle imbalances which may improve chewing and the functioning of your jaws.
It’s important not to choose a “drugstore” mouthguard. Those over-the-counter remedies aren’t designed for your specific needs. At best, they’re likely to be only slightly effective. At worst, they can even make your pain more severe!
Dr. Dick Davenport at Davenport Dental Group in Laredo, TX provides fully customized oral appliances to treat TMD. Once any teeth clenching and grinding is eliminated, we can repair the damage to your tooth enamel if needed to keep your teeth healthy and looking good.
You don’t have to suffer with jaw problems, mystery headaches, ringing ears, or pain while chewing. Get effective relief from TMD symptoms by calling our Laredo, TX practice at 956-242-6745 or 956-517-2695. Be sure to schedule your next regular checkup as well.