Temporomandibular joint disorders, TMD, can make basic daily activities like chewing and talking unbearable. At Great Neck Dental Associates in Great Neck, NY, we have professionals who know all about TMD and ways to restore your temporomandibular joints to a functional state.
A lot of people don’t know how TMD is diagnosed and the options we have at Great Neck Dental Associates for treating it. We want to give our clients and the public as much information about these things as possible.
At first, TMD might show up as mild discomfort with opening and closing the jaw. With time, however, the condition will likely get worse. Pain might be felt in the ear, face, neck, or shoulders. Some patients experience lockjaw or develop problems with opening and closing it while chewing and speaking.
When you visit us at Great Neck Dental Associates, we’ll need to ask you a few questions then examine you. After the examination, we might send you to do a few tests. These include x-rays and MRIs. X-rays are valuable for the evaluation of your bones. An MRI might be needed for an accurate assessment of soft tissue in the joint like muscles and cartilage.
Mild cases can benefit from applying ice and warm packs to their jaw. Eating soft foods like eggs, fish, mashed potatoes, and yogurt is highly recommended. Resting the chin on hard surfaces or even on the hand should be avoided as it leads to more pressure on the TMJ.
NSAIDs can be used to prescribe the pain. People who grind and clench their jaws will need mouthpieces to keep teeth apart and reduce the stress on the joint. Radiowaves and laser therapy can also be used to promote wound healing and control inflammation.
Resistant and severe cases will need surgery which can be done using an endoscope, or through an incision. An endoscope is a very thin tube with a camera at the end of it, which can be used to visualize and fix the joint without a scar, as opposed to open-joint surgery.
If you suffer from TMD, seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further joint damage. Give us a call today!