If you experience ongoing pain in the area near your ear, your jaw or the muscles on the side of your face, possibly accompanied by a clicking or popping sound or restricted jaw movement, you may be suffering from TMD — an abbreviation for Temporomandibular disorders. TMD describes a group of conditions characterized by pain and dysfunction of the TMJ and/or the muscles surrounding it.
Treatment of TMJ
Treatment may involve a series of steps. The step-by-step plan is in your best interest because only minor, relatively non-invasive treatment may be needed. Diagnosis is an important step before treatment.
Part of your clinical examination at Island Dentistry includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Your complete medical history may be reviewed, so it is important to keep your dental office record up-to-date. Your dentist may take x-rays and may make a “cast” of your teeth to see how your bite fits together.
Dr. Scales may also request specialized x-rays for the TM joints. TM disorders can result when the jaw muscles or jaw joints are affected. The joint, ligaments, and muscles used for chewing and grinding food may all be involved.