Do you suffer from tenderness of the jaw muscles, limited jaw opening, facial or head pain or joint noises? Chances are you may be one of the 60 million North Americans who have a condition called TMD – temporomandibular disorder. In addition to the physical pain it causes sufferers, you may also be affected psychologically.
A recent study revealed that 53% of individuals with TM disorders suffered either major or minor depression, while another 22% showed symptoms of depression. Fatigue and insomnia, due to disrupted sleep patterns as a result of the pain, are the most common symptoms.
The good news is in most cases it can be diagnosed and treated in the dental office.
If you do have any form of TM trouble, treatment will vary according to your needs. Usually the first step is to eliminate the pain and correct the way your teeth fit together. We may smooth down your teeth or use a corrective splint. Drugs, counseling and relaxation therapy can help some patients with TMD. Surgery is the final method of treating TM problems. It is used conservatively in selected cases where there is no other way to correct a serious joint problem.
If you think you may have signs of TMD, the first step is to bring your symptoms to our attention during your next visit. As part of your health care team, we want to help our patients in any way we can.