The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the spot where your jaw connects to your skull to allow you to open and close your jaw easily. Sometimes the joint is injured or damaged, leading to a painful condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorder (TMD). If you are experiencing pain or hearing noises when you move your jaw, schedule a consultation with our team at Dental Health to determine if you have TMD. At our family dental practice in Brattleboro, VT, we use advanced equipment to diagnose and treat your TMD to relieve painful symptoms. Your treatment will be based on the cause of your TMD and your specific condition, but some options include oral appliances (mouth or night guards), bite adjustment, dental restorations, and more.
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TMD may be caused by a single injury to the jaw, chronic teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, or misalignment of the teeth (dental malocclusion). Medical conditions that may cause TMD include arthritis or a tumor in the TMJ. In some cases, the cause of TMD is unclear, but if you are experiencing symptoms, our team can still diagnose and treat your jaw. Some of the most common symptoms of TMD are pain or tenderness in the temporomandibular joint, spasms in your facial muscles, feeling like your jaw is stiff or stuck, and headaches that start in front of your ears. Another symptom is hearing popping, clicking, or cracking whenever you move your jaw.
What To Expect
To help diagnose TMD, a member of the Dental Health team will carefully listen and understand your concerns before performing a physical examination. During the exam, we will assess the movement of your jaw and look for signs of teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and misalignment. They will also feel the jaw and surrounding area for any tenderness and inflammation. We may want to take digital x-rays of your lower face or a bite analysis to look for underlying causes that may determine your treatment method. Based on the exam, we will go over your treatment options that may include a dental appliance, orthodontics, or dental restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
Along with procedures to solve the underlying cause of your TMD, our Dental Health team can recommend other ways to relieve pain and other symptoms at home. This includes eating softer foods, avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails, heat packs on your jaw, and relaxation techniques. Our team can also give you exercises to strengthen your jaw or prescribe medicine to relax your jaw muscles (and to relieve pain, anxiety, or inflammation).
Continue to attend follow-up visits so we can check the progress of your TMJ therapy. If your treatment is not helping, they may consider a different approach. Once your TMD is treated, you should continue to schedule annual dental exams at Dental Health to keep your mouth healthy.
Dental insurance coverage for TMJ pain diagnosis and TMD treatments will vary, so we will contact your carrier to calculate your out-of-pocket costs. Whether you have dental insurance or not, our team will go over cost estimates when discussing treatment options. To help make all treatments affordable, we accept many payment methods and can help you find low-interest medical financing.
Advanced TMD Treatments
Pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) makes it difficult to chew, speak, and enjoy your life. Since there are many possible causes, symptoms, and solutions for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), schedule a consultation with our Dental Health team in Brattleboro, VT. We will give you a thorough examination before making a diagnosis and discussing treatment options. Contact Dental Health to get more information and schedule your appointment.