Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: TMJ

By Gregory A. Rosecrans, DDS, PC
May 31, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ   tmj disorders   tmd  

Have you noticed a clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open or close your jaw? As many as 36 million U.S. adults experience this phenomenon in one or both of the joints that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull.

While the sounds may be disconcerting, there’s generally no cause for concern in the absence of other symptoms. They’re most likely caused by a harmless shift in the position of the disk inside each temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and it can diminish or disappear entirely over time. But, if you’re also experiencing persistent discomfort, severe pain, or limited function in your jaw (which can include getting it “stuck” in an opened or closed position), then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder — part of a complex set of conditions affecting one or both jaw joints, muscles and/or other surrounding tissues. (You may have heard the condition called TMJ, which is actually the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint itself. Health care professionals prefer TMJD or TMD.)

Depending on the severity, TMD can interfere with your ability to speak, chew and even make facial expressions. The cause is unclear, but genes, gender, environment, stress and behavior are believed to play a role. It can also be symptomatic of a larger medical problem, such as fibromyalgia, which can produce pain all over the body.

Management Options for TMD

TMD traditionally was viewed as a bite problem (malocclusion) requiring mechanical correction — e.g., through orthodontic braces or surgery. But the current therapeutic model approaches TMD as an orthopedic problem (joint inflammation, muscle soreness, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk damage) and favors a sequence of conservative, reversible procedures — hot or cold compresses in the jaw area, soft foods, physical therapy/massage, medication, and/or a bite guard to decrease pressure on jaw joints from tooth clenching and grinding — prior to more aggressive, irreversible treatment alternatives.

If you would like more information about TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Seeking Relief from TMD” and “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

By Gregory Rosecrans, DDS, PC
January 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ  

Your temporomandibular joint is the location where your jaw and upper bones of your skull meet. When you open and close your mouth to chew or speak, the temporomandibular joint is responsible. When you experience pain and discomfort in this jaw portion, the condition is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Sometimes TMD is also referred to as TMJ.

TMD can be a debilitating disease because it affects your abilities to eat and speak clearly. We offer treatments for TMD at our TMJBay City, MI dentist’s office. If you experience any of the following symptoms, please contact our office.

Sign 1: Your jaw makes noise when opening or closing.

Patients who have abnormalities of the temporomandibular joint may hear a clicking, grating or popping sound when opening and closing the jaw. You may also hear these symptoms when you are chewing. Sometimes you may experience pain along with these sounds. You also may feel your jaw is stuck or temporarily locked in place when trying to open and close your mouth.

Sign 2: Jaw or facial pain.

While sometimes TMD causes pain directly in the jaw - especially directly at the joint - other times, the pain can radiate elsewhere. Pain in your face, neck, shoulders or ears can also be the result of a TMD disorder. You may notice the pain worsens as you open and close your mouth.

Sign 3: A change in your teeth’s alignment.

If you feel you have more difficulty fitting your upper and lower teeth together, TMD could be to blame. Changes to the joint can affect how you open and close your mouth. Also, a contributing factor to TMD can be teeth grinding, which can cause your teeth to be more worn down on one side versus the other, which can affect your bite.

If you have symptoms of TMD, please call our Bay City, MI dentist’s office at (989) 892-7832. We can help you find relief from this painful condition.