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Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) in Lakeway

Closeup person grimacing and holding jawTMD is a dysfunction of the muscles and/or jaw joint whereby one or all of the opening, closing, and chewing functions are negatively affected. Possible initiators are tension, stress, lifestyle changes, conscious or unconscious clenching and grinding, bite changes from split teeth or recent dental treatment, misaligned/poor fitting teeth, caffeine and other stimulants, dental infection, trauma to certain areas of the jaw, and, rarely, primary degenerative joint disease.

Typically, initial treatment is intended to resolve muscle tension and dysfunction in hopes that the TMD will then resolve. Treatment options include, but are not limited to: warm moist heat, topical and systemic non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, bite splint therapy, physical therapy, and counseling. Hard splint therapy is used to separate the teeth and create a level surface upon which you can comfortably close in any position, including the most ideal, natural jaw joint position. By separating the teeth, learned muscle closure patterns and tooth proprioception are eliminated; consequently, the muscles are able to relax and symptoms often resolve. Physical therapy may be required to relieve more refractory muscle cramping and trismus. This combination of therapies is the most conservative, cost-effective treatment approach.

If the TMD is more chronic and/or changes in the joint occur, resolution will be more difficult. In these cases, an MRI may be recommended to visualize the functional status of the jaw joint and determine the need for primary joint treatment with procedures intended to loosen the joint and resolve joint adhesions, reduce joint inflammation, or surgically repair the joint. Contact Eaddy Dentistry to learn more and schedule a consultation with our dentists.