TMJ, TMD, TMJD, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, is a condition that affects millions of people across the United States. It can cause significant discomfort and impact your quality of life. If you’re in Coeur d’Alene and are experiencing symptoms of TMJ or TMD, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are effective treatment options available to help you find relief. Let’s take a look at TMJ/TMD, its symptoms, and the various dental procedures offered at Jaeger Orthodontics in Coeur d’Alene to provide holistic treatment for TMJ symptoms.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is commonly referred to as TMJ by most of our patients. It’s a functional condition that affects the temporomandibular joint—or jaw joint—on either side of your lower jaw, just in front of each ear. This joint is vital for actions like chewing, talking, and even yawning. When it malfunctions or becomes inflamed, it can lead to various symptoms and discomfort.
Symptoms of TMJ-TMD
TMJ/TMD patients typically present a wide range of symptoms, and they can vary from person to person. Some common warning signs include:
- Jaw Pain: One of the hallmark symptoms of TMJ-TMD is jaw pain. This can manifest as a constant ache or sharp, stabbing pain in the jaw joint area.
- Facial Pain: In addition to jaw pain, many individuals with TMJ-TMD also experience facial pain, often radiating towards the temples or ears.
- Headaches: Frequent headaches, especially in the temple area, are another common symptom of TMJ-TMD.
- Popping or Clicking: Some people with TMJ-TMD notice clicking or popping sounds when they open and close their mouths. This can be accompanied by a sensation of the jaw getting stuck or locked. There may even be grinding-type sounds, known as crepitation.
- Ear Pain: TMJ-TMD can also cause ear pain, which is often mistaken for an ear infection.
- Difficulty Chewing: Pain and discomfort in the jaw joint can make it difficult to chew, leading to dietary restrictions and nutritional concerns.
- Limited Range of Motion: When your jaw hurts or feels stiff, you may not be able to open it as wide as normal.
- Tinnitus: Some individuals with TMJ-TMD experience ringing in the ears.
- Neck and Shoulder Pain: The discomfort can extend from your face and jaws down into the neck and shoulder muscles due to the constant tension.
Treatment Options for TMJ-TMD in Coeur d’Alene
If you’re suffering from TMJ-TMD and live in Coeur d’Alene, it’s essential to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. At Jaeger Orthodontics, we offer a range of dental procedures to alleviate TMJ-TMD symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Orthodontic Treatment: In many cases, misaligned teeth and improper bite can contribute to TMJ-TMD symptoms. This is because of atypical chewing motions caused by improper biting relationships. Our orthodontic experts can assess your jaw and tooth alignment and provide treatments like braces or clear aligners to correct these issues, which in turn helps relieve TMJ-TMD discomfort.
Occlusal Splints: Also known as bite splints or night guards, these custom-made oral appliances are designed to prevent teeth grinding and clenching, which are common contributors to TMJ-TMD. By wearing an occlusal splint, you can protect your teeth and reduce the stress on your jaw joint.
Lifestyle Modifications: Our dental professionals can provide guidance on lifestyle changes that can alleviate TMJ-TMD symptoms. This may include dietary modifications to reduce jaw strain and stress management techniques.
Can a Dentist Help with TMJ-TMD?
Absolutely, yes! Dentists play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating TMJ-TMD. They have the expertise to identify the root causes of your symptoms and create a personalized treatment plan to provide relief. At Jaeger Orthodontics in Coeur d’Alene, our team of experienced orthodontists offers specialized therapies that you may not be able to find in a traditional dental setting.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you’re in Coeur d’Alene and experiencing the pain caused by TMJ-TMD, don’t ignore the warning signs. Jaeger Orthodontics is here to help. All you have to do is plan a zero-pressure consultation with one of our specialists at a time that’s convenient for you. Call us today to reserve your appointment!