Many People Experience TMD
TMD, or temporomandibular jaw disorders, refers to a group of painful conditions that directly affect the jaw. TMJ disorders fall into three main categories:
Myofascial pain–pain in the muscles that control jaw function, as well as the neck and shoulder muscles
Internal derangement of the joint–a dislocated jaw or disc, or an injury to the condyle (the round, protruding end of the bone)
Degenerative joint disease–osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint
Conservative Care for TMD
At the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health, we have found that a conservative approach to treatment is effective for many patients. This might include self-care practices at home, regulating stress, and avoiding strenuous jaw movements. We can also create a mouth-guard-like orthotic that fits over your upper or lower teeth to reduce clenching or grinding.
A Closer Look Using the Latest Technology
Because many TMD problems are caused by a misaligned bite, we can use a digital bite recording system to tell us where your bite may be off. Our in-office technical capabilities also include a 3D imaging system if your TMD issues require a closer look, and we send the images directly to a dental radiologist for interpretation.
If necessary, we can also send you for an MRI. Further treatment for TMD, if required, can be provided by an orthodontist or oral surgeon.
What You Can Do
You can take steps to relieve your TMD symptoms. Here are a few recommendations:
- Eat soft foods, such as yogurt, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, rice, cottage cheese, fish, cooked fruits, and vegetables. Also, you won’t have to chew as much if you cut foods into small pieces.
- Avoid strenuous jaw movements.
- Do not rest your chin on your hand or hold the phone between your shoulder and ear.
- Keep your teeth slightly apart to relieve the pressure on your jaw.
- Use moist heat and ice packs to ease discomfort.
- Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can relieve muscle pain and swelling.
- We Keep Abreast of the Latest TMD News
As a Dawson Academy scholar, Dr. Stacey Hall has completed the Academy’s continuing education courses focused on dental occlusion—the relationship between the upper and lower teeth—and the temporomandibular joints. Dr. Hall and her staff keep up-to-date on the latest TMD information and technology to help patients manage and overcome the pain and discomfort of temporomandibular jaw disorders.