Come see Dr. Huff for relief
Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw? Pain may be a sign temporomandibular dysfunction or (TMD). Dr. Huff, your Kerrville dentist, can identify TMD and get you on a course of treatment to help you start feeling better.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is where you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. Many with bruxism clench or grind at night and are unaware of the problem. Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).
Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth, and other problems.
What is TMD/TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It allows you to move your jaw up and down and side-to-side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn.
Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders, but you may also hear it referred to as TMJ, after the joint. Dr. Huff understands the pain and frustration TMD/TMJ can cause. Don’t put off getting yourself checked out another day—come in and see us today.
What are the symptoms of TMD/TMJ?
TMJ is painful – that pain can manifest differently depending on the patient. Sometimes people mistake TMJ for ear problems because it can cause pain or ringing in the ears. You may also be able to hear popping, grating, or clicking, and your face may swell on the affected side. Sometimes the jaw can lock in an open position, or a closed mouthed position. The jaw may feel crooked, and you may favor opening to one side over the other.
You may feel pain in the facial muscles and jaw joints that may even radiate into the neck. You might feel dizzy or get frequent headaches, or feel pain in the jaw joint when you talk, chew, yawn or otherwise open and close your mouth.
Muscle spasms may make it difficult to swallow, and in some cases patients feel dizzy and vomit. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help.
What causes TMD/TMJ?
Trauma, disease, wear or grinding, Osteoarthritis, or Rheumatoid arthritis can all lead to TMJ syndrome. It is not always clear what has caused the disorder.
What can I do about my TMD/TMJ?
First, seek a professional assessment. Dr. Huff can examine your jaw and refer you to the correct course of treatment. Depending on the severity of your disorder there is a wide range of options available. At-home care may include:
- Eating soft foods
- Using heat or ice
- Avoiding extreme jaw movement
- Taking over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol or ibuprofen
- Keeping your teeth slightly apart
If Dr. Huff thinks symptoms will not subside using any of the at-home treatments, he may determine you need further intervention like a night guard or splint to help with the clenching or grinding.
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