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TMJ/TMD


Woman holding jaw due to TMJ pain at Roane Family Dental.Our team at Roane Family Dental is glad to enlighten you on TMJ/TMD. Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the most unpredictable joints in the body; they are situated before each ear, where your skull and lower jaw meet. TMJ joints are the joints that open and close the jaw. It is comprised of a few sections: the lower jaw (or mandible) and the attachment (or worldly bone). In the middle of the mandible and the attachment is a circle. The circle enables the joint to function easily when opening and shutting. When these joints will not function as they should, it is called TMJ dysfunction or disorder (TMJD or TMD).

TMD is a very common ailment and has an assortment of side effects, for example, ear infections, cerebral pains, or trouble opening your mouth. Many also experience clicking or grinding sounds in the joint, especially when opening and closing the mouth. This can be accompanied by pain or soreness at the joint or along the jaw.

Causes of TMD


While there has been no definitive cause identified as being responsible for TMD, most physicians agree that there are certain factors that can contribute to its severity. These typically relate to the condition of the jaw, the muscles supporting the joint, and the joint itself. Bruxism has often been linked to TMD. The repeated grinding and clenching of the jaw tend to put much pressure on the joint. Arthritis also affects the joint and surrounding tissues and nerves.

Physical injury or impact to the jaw, the socket itself, face, or neck can also lead to TMD. Stress has also been linked. People undergoing stressful situations can often clench their teeth or tighten facial muscles that could exacerbate the problem.

Treatment Options for TMD


In the mildest of cases, TMD can be treated with home remedies that manage the symptoms until the condition resolves itself. Over the counter medications like ibuprofen and paracetamol can help with relieving any pain and inflammation. Ice and heat packs can also help with inflammation and soreness. Eating soft foods, avoiding extreme mouth movements and resting the area can help quicken recovery.

A night mouthguard can be helpful in cases of bruxism. The tray keeps the teeth separated, reducing the risk of grinding action that would aggravate the TMJ. If the problem is being caused by a problem with the bite, a visit to our orthodontist may be advisable. Corrective work to properly align teeth and fill in missing gaps can help relieve this problem in the long term.

For more severe cases, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may help to ease pain and relax muscles around the joint and jawline. Direct injections of pain medication or anesthesia to the affected muscles can also help. If there is no relief from these and other milder approaches, a surgical route may need to be taken. This, however, should only be considered after several consultations from our specialist dentists.

If you are suffering the symptoms of TMD, come see our specialists for a more precise diagnosis and guidance on what treatments can bring you relief. Get in touch with us at Roane Family Dental at (503) 974-0464 today.

I adore Dr. Roane and his staff.

"I have been a patient here for 10 years, since he started this practice. He has fixed my chipped front teeth twice, most recently this week. He is truly an artist and such a nice guy! My teeth look natural and healthy again. As always, the procedure was painless, quick, and professional. The office is clean, the front office is efficient, and everyone is friendly.

Dr. Roane even opened the clinic on New Year's Day a few years ago to treat my daughter's dry socket after she had her wisdom teeth pulled. I will always be grateful for that, and will remain a loyal patient here even though I moved to Tigard 2 years ago."
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