and Kevin G. Murphy & Associates
Do you experience frequent clicking and popping or lockjaw when you open and close your mouth? These are two common signs that you may suffer from TMJ dysfunction, also known as TMD. This condition can impact your day-to-day life by causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms and making everyday tasks like chewing food or laughing painful. To learn more about how we stop the constant discomfort of TMJ dysfunction, schedule a consultation with one of our professionals for TMJ therapy in Baltimore.
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the set of small hinges that is located in front of your ears. This joint allows your lower jaw to move freely, giving you the ability to speak, laugh, and eat. The TMJ is one of the most complex joints in the body. Due to a misaligned bite, teeth grinding, and other factors, it is possible to develop tension and chronic pain. This is what’s known as TMJ dysfunction, or TMD.
There are numerous symptoms that can occur as a result of TMD, including some that don’t even seem to be related to the jaw. In addition to clicking and popping of the joint when opening the mouth, here are just some of the more common signs of the dysfunction:
So many factors can lead to TMD. To diagnose this dysfunction, we will closely examine your joint. This way, we can see exactly how it moves and determine the proper alignment for your teeth and jaw. With this information, we can create a personalized treatment plan to reduce and eliminate the negative symptoms for good.
The good news is that there are several ways to successfully treat TMD. Depending on the cause of your TMD and the severity of your symptoms, we will put together a plan to help you get some relief. Here are a couple common treatment options:
Occlusal splints are customized orthotic devices that we may suggest helping reduce the prevalence of uncomfortable TMD symptoms. Each mouthguard is individually made for every patient’s unique dental structure and should be worn at night, as you sleep. Once placed in your mouth, it will act to shift your jaw into its ideal position to relieve your joints of additional strain and stress, as well as protect your mouth from the harmful effects of grinding and clenching your teeth.
If the underlying problem resulting in TMD pain is due to bite misalignment or an improperly placed restoration, we may suggest occlusal adjustments. During this process, we’ll strategically and gently reshape your teeth, so they come together in a more functional manner that doesn’t cause your jaw joints to strain. To pinpoint the areas of your bite that may be under additional pressure, we’ll take an impression of your teeth and gently buff them down for lasting relief.
Do you have any questions you want to be answered before you begin your TMJ treatment? Let us know! We’re fully committed to educating our patients and working with them to figure out the best way to stop their jaw pain. The FAQs below cover some of the topics that our patients tend to ask about the most often. Do you have a question that’s not listed here? Call our office and speak to one of our team members!