TMD » Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) affects an estimated 30% of adults in the UK at some time in their lives. TMD is a condition that affects the jaw joints and the muscles we use to chew. It has a wide range of causes and has various symptoms – some, such as migraines or shoulder pain – that you might not think your dentist would be able to help with. However, if you are experiencing some of the following symptoms and other causes have been ruled out, it may be worth asking your dentist about TMD.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the muscles around the jaw
- Jaws that click, grate or pop when chewing/speaking
- Tight jaw
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Pain in front of the ear, in the cheek or temple
- Earache or a feeling there's a blockage in the ear
- Recurring headache/migraine
In many cases, the symptoms will clear up on their own. However, if they are having a serious impact on your quality of life, or if they are chronic, there are a range of treatment options available.
At Castle Lane Dental Care, we take a holistic approach when treating our patients. We also pride ourselves on using minimally-invasive techniques, helping you to self-manage the condition whenever possible.
We will try to establish the cause of your TMD problems. Common causes include:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
- Injury to the jaw joint
- Osteoarthritis causing wear and tear on the inside of the joint
- Uneven bite after new crowns, fillings or dentures are fitted
- Side-effects of other conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia
The best treatment will depend on the cause. After your initial assessment we offer advice and counselling, along with a range of appliances that can help treat the condition. These include small appliances worn over the front teeth at night as well as larger appliances that cover all of the teeth, preventing clenching and grinding.
We also offer a new form of treatment, called Cerezen. These are worn inside the ear canal and help to prevent teeth clenching/grinding because of the ear canal's close proximity to the temporomandibular joints. In other cases, working with an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist may be beneficial – in each case, treatment is specifically tailored to meet each patient's individual needs.