Temporomandibular Dysfunction Syndrome (TMD) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMD is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. The vast majority of TMD sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that a dentist can effectively treat.
The symptoms of TMD are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well being of the patient is at the heart of the dental practice, so pain relief is the first consideration of the dentist. Dahm Dental is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMD disorder. Dr. Jeff has treated over 350 TMD patients since 1992 and has studied extensively in the field of temporomandibular dysfunction. Our treatment methods achieve acceptable comfort and function in most of our patients.
Reasons for treating TMD
TMD sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.
One common cause of TMD is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” It is possible for Dr. Jeff to realign or adjust the teeth without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. The realignment/adjustment may stop the pounding headaches, the jaw pain, and the dizziness.
The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMD is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.
What does treating TMD involve?
TMD could be a result of several different problems. Bad bite is common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, Dr. Jeff will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patient’s bite, take X-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment. CT and MRI scans are most helpful in achieving a correct diagnoses and help us to develop an effective treatment plan.
It is uncommon for TMD to be effectively managed by one clinician alone. Since TMD often involves numerous pain sources and dysfuntion of the head and neck region, it typically requires a team approach to provide healing, restore normal function, or halt the breakdown process and prevent further damage to occur. Our most common TMD team members include Dr. Dahm, your family physician, other doctors such as an ENT physician and neurologist, physical therapist, chiropractor, and other related health care providers.
Once a firm diagnosis is attained by your team, we will begin therapies to stabilize your TMD and decrease the pain you are experiencing. Our team goal is to manage your pain and dysfunction before deciding if corrective bit therapy is needed. We may fabricate a specially molded bite guard to manage teeth grinding during the night and find the most comfortable and stable position for your jaw. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended to determine what type of bite correction may be best for you. Options include dental equilibration, restorative dentistry such as crowns and bridges, and orthodontic or Invisalign treatment.
As with any procedure, Dr. Jeff will be happy to answer questions and discuss symptoms, options, and treatments.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMD, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.