Researchers believe that around 10 million Americans are living with temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMD is a condition that develops when the temporomandibular joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull become damaged from injury or misalignment. Legends Dental treats TMD and other jaw-related conditions in Waco, Texas.
Symptoms of the condition include pain, popping, creaking or cracking of the jaw while chewing, talking or yawning. Additional symptoms include tenderness and swelling of the jaw joints or locking of the jaw when the mouth is open or closed.
In some cases, TMD is only temporary and could go away with some self-care treatments such as rest, relaxation, warm compresses and a soft-food diet. But, in most cases, these self-care steps aren’t guaranteed to take the pain of TMD away, or, at best, their benefits are short-lived and you end up back in pain again. TMD is a lifelong medical condition that will require management and intervention by a dentist.
How Do I Know If It’s Temporary?
Unfortunately, you won’t. When TMD symptoms develop, there’s no way to tell if they will go away or if they’re here to stay. That’s why it is critical to get them treated right away, even if you believe your TMD might be only temporary.
When you notice the onset of uncomfortable TMD symptoms, your dentist can get you back to being comfortable using a few different interventions and treatments.
Treating TMD may involve:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Pain relievers
- Muscle relaxers
But these treatments don’t target the cause of TMD; they just treat the symptoms.
Truly treating the condition may require neuromuscular orthodontic treatments, mouth guards, oral splints or other oral orthotic devices.
Some other treatments that have been found useful to treat TMD include stretching regimens to help loosen and strengthen the jaw. These stretching exercises are often used in conjunction with appliance therapy and splints.
But, What About Surgery?
For years, dentists, doctors and other medical professionals believed that surgery was the last resort for individuals living with TMD. That is not the case.
Legends Dental can help get you out of pain and relieve uncomfortable TMD symptoms without surgery.
If you suspect that you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of TMD, call Legends Dental in Waco, Texas, at 254-799-9540 today for a consultation. We would love to talk to you about a treatment plan to get you out of pain.