Sullivan Dental Center

Neuromuscular Care with the Team at Sullivan Dental Center

Patients experiencing pain and discomfort in the jaw may need to visit their dentist for an evaluation. In many cases, patients may be diagnosed with a condition called TMD, or “temporomandibular joint disorder.”

Understanding TMD

TMD is a condition caused by a malfunctioning joint. This joint, called the TMJ or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that hinges the jaw to the skull and allows patients the ability to open and close their mouth. This joint and the muscles around it may become problematic and cause patients pain and discomfort. To address this, patients will need to visit a dentist who has neuromuscular dentistry experience.

What are the symptoms of TMD?

Patients who have TMD may experience:

  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Continued joint pain on one or both sides of the jaw
  • Pain and discomfort of the jaw and mouth radiating down to the neck and shoulders
  • Clicking and popping noises from the jaw while eating
  • Locking of the jaw int eh open or closed position

When these symptoms exist, it may be time to visit a dentist for an evaluation to obtain a proper diagnosis and seek effective treatment.

Treatment for TMD

Once patients have obtained a diagnosis of TMD, they are encouraged to visit their dentist to discuss treatment options. While surgery can help, this is often the last treatment option considered. More conservative options may be explored, including the use of an oral appliance. Oral appliance therapy is the most popular treatment for patients with mild to moderate TMD. This requires patients to wear a special oral appliance, similar to a mouth guard, for a specific period of time each day to reduce tension and keep the jaw properly aligned. By doing this, patients experience less headaches and migraines and notice the pain and discomfort in this area reduce. For most of our patients, oral appliance therapy is an effective and less invasive treatment for TMD and works well for most who have been diagnosed with this condition.

Seek neuromuscular care with the team at Sullivan Dental Center!

Call (225) 635-4422 today to book an appointment with the staff and learn about diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as TMD.

Posted in: Neuromuscular Dentistry

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