Murphy TMJ/TMD Treatment

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Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) affects millions of Americans

TMJ/TMD can be troublesome to diagnose and treat, and caused by many different lifestyle factors and oral health issues

At Parkside Dental in Murphy, Drs. Jean and Jason Larsen specialize in treating TMJ/TMD

With our TMJ/TMD treatments, you can eliminate jaw pain and smile, chew, and speak normally again

What Is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ/TMD are both terms that are commonly used to refer to temporomandibular joint disorders. The temporomandibular joint is a small, delicate joint that is located just below your ear. It is responsible for connecting your jaw bone to your skull. When the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, damaged, or knocked out of place, the result is TMJ/TMD.
 
Common symptoms of TMJ/TMD include pain and discomfort around the jaw, radiating pain and headaches, difficulty opening your jaw all the way, pain when chewing, “clicking” and “popping” noises when moving your jaw, and even sudden, unexpected locking of the jaw. The specific symptoms will vary based on the cause of your condition, its severity, and a number of other factors.

What Are the Causes of TMJ disorders?

TMJ/TMD are difficult to treat because there are many different potential causes of TMJ/TMD. For example, heavy jaw use, such as a heavy gum-chewing habit, can be a contributing factor. Stress, which may lead to teeth clenching and grinding, can also cause TMJ/TMD.

TMJ/TMD can also be caused by an inflammatory condition in your body, like an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Direct trauma to your temporomandibular joint can also damage it, and cause TMJ/TMD. 

Because the causes of TMJ/TMD can vary so widely, it’s often difficult to narrow down the problems that may be contributing to your condition. But at Parkside Dental, both Dr. Jean and Jason Larsen have experience treating difficult cases of TMJ/TMD. We’re here to help.

What Are Some Common Treatments of TMJ/TMD?

In some cases, lifestyle changes may be enough to resolve minor cases of TMJ/TMD. For example, ceasing the chewing of gum or reducing stress can eliminate conditions of TMJ/TMD caused by excessive jaw use or teeth clenching.

Nightguards are also often recommended for cases of TMJ/TMD caused by teeth clenching and grinding. They protect the teeth from grinding against one another, which helps minimize strain on your jaw.

Anterior and full-coverage dental appliances may also be recommended. These appliances are similar to night guards, but are made specifically to improve the position of the jaw, and stimulate healing of the temporomandibular joint.

Finally, Botox may be recommended for some patients. Botox can selectively paralyze muscles of the face and jaw, such as the masseter muscle, which can help address teeth clenching and grinding. It offers immediate relief from the pain and discomfort of TMJ/TMD.

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