Dentists not only care for patients’ teeth and gums, they are also able to care for the muscles of the head, neck, and jaw. Nearly 15 percent of Americans suffer from some sort of facial pain such as jaw pain, earaches, or headaches. In many cases, the cause of this pain can be linked to the temporomandibular joints. These joints work in conjunction with muscles, ligaments, and bones to allow people to chew and speak. Dr. Shah offers several dentistry services in Norco that can treat the underlying causes associated with TMD.
What is TMD?
TMD is a set of conditions that affect the jaw joint and the muscles used to move the jaw and neck. TMD can cause pain that often will go away with little to no treatment; however, some people do develop persistent and painful symptoms.
Possible causes of TMD
- Injury to the jaw, or muscles of the head or neck
- Dislocated disc
- Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bruxism (clenching or grinding of the teeth)
Before developing a treatment plan, Dr. Shah will ask you a number of questions about your pain. She will want to know when the pain started, if it is constant, do any activities trigger the pain, and if there is clicking or popping noises when you move your jaw.
Symptoms of TMD
- Difficulty chewing
- Persistent headaches
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Facial discomfort
- Abnormal tooth wear
Treatment Options for TMD
There are a variety of treatment methods to fix the underlying cause of your pain. Dr. Shah may recommend one of the following:
- Wear a night guard. Night guards are plastic devices fitted over the teeth that can reduce the effects of grinding the teeth.
- Corrective dental procedures to correct a bite problem. Crowns or bridges to replace missing teeth or braces to align teeth can alleviate the symptoms associated with TMD.
In some cases, the joint may require surgery, however most pain can be relived with appropriate dental intervention. Dr. Shah will work with you to come up with the best possible solution to your TMD. Don’t let the pain associated with TMD interfere with your life. Call Absolute Dental today to find out about TMD relief and other dentistry services in Norco.