Temporomandibular disorders (TMD or TMJ) are a group of problems that cause pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. It can either be a slight nuisance or a severe problem.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain in the jaw joint or chewing muscles
- Pain in the jaw, neck, or face
- Stiff jaw muscles
- A jaw that locks or has limited movement
- Painful clicking, popping, or grating in the jaw joint
If you suffer from severe TMJ, a surgical route may be your best option. If your symptoms, however, are quite mild, there are other routes you can go. The first thing that must be done is to book an appointment with Port Coquitlam dental practice, Oxford Family Dental. A dental professional will need to review your symptoms as well as your dental history, and give you a thorough investigation to see what options would be best for you.
Some nonsurgical options include:
Stabilization or splint
This is a bite splint that involves fitting a plastic guard over the upper or lower teeth. It helps to prevent clenching and grinding of the teeth and typically only needs to be worn at night, unless directed differently by your dentist.
These are options that include stretching exercises, acupuncture, or ultrasound treatments, among others, to help relax your jaw muscles.
Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to relieve pain and relax your jaw muscles.
If surgery is the route you need to take, your Port Coquitlam dentist will lay out all options to you and help you decide how to continue.
Together, you and your dentist will come up with the correct plan that is suited to you.