TMD Diagnosis and Therapy

TMJ Disorder (TMD) can cause jaw pain, facial tension, headaches, and many other symptoms. The condition can have significant consequences for your health and quality of life. Fortunately, Dr. Toan Tran offers effective and personalized TMD diagnosis and treatment. As a comprehensive dentist with expertise in TMD diagnosis, he will thoroughly evaluate how your bite, jaw joints, and jaw muscles work together. Through x-rays and palpation, he will evaluate the condition of your jaw joints and which facial and neck muscles are painful. He will evaluate whether you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and/or bruxism (night time teeth grinding), as both conditions are highly associated with TMD. Based on his findings, he will offer therapeutic treatment to relieve your pain and also dental treatments that can permanently address the causes of your TMD.

What Is TMJ Disorder (TMD)?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) come under tremendous daily stress. You not only use them when you eat and speak. You make countless unconscious motions with them. If you suffer from malocclusion (a bad bite) or bruxism (teeth grinding and/or clenching during sleep and/or under tension), you not only put stress upon your teeth, you put stress on teeth roots, surrounding gum tissue and bone, and the muscles and ligaments of the jaw. The constant strain may cause inflammation in the nearby muscles and ligaments. It could also cause the soft disc inside your joints to slip out of place and cause injury to them over time. Therefore, you have a greater risk for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Malocclusion and bruxism frequently lead to a host of symptoms, including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Chronic headaches
  • Jaw stiffness
  • The inability to open or close your jaw all the way
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness

TMD Therapeutic Treatment

Before beginning treatment, Dr. Tran will conduct a thorough examination, and you will discuss your symptoms. Then, he can make personalized treatment recommendations. In most cases, he will use custom-made oral splints to alleviate your symptoms. These devices will fit over your front teeth to realign your jaw and reduce pressure on the joints. In most cases, you will only need to wear your splint at night. However, if you have a severe case of TMD, Dr. Tran may recommend that you wear it during the day, as well.

Often TMD can result from dental misalignment. An imbalanced bite puts pressure on your jaw. Sometimes all that is needed is slight modification of the tops of the teeth to allow them to fit evenly together. This procedure is known as equilibration. Dental crowns can be used to rebuild damaged or worn teeth to provide even force and pressure across your dental arch as you bite and chew. If you are missing teeth, dental bridges or implants will not only restore your smile. They will also improve the balance of your bite and reduce the symptoms of TMJ Disorder. Dr. Tran may also recommend a course of orthodontics with ClearCorrect™ clear aligners to realign your teeth for a comfortable bite.

If you grind your teeth during sleep, you may need to wear a special night time occlusal guard that protects your teeth even after you have had equilibration, dental restoration, and/or tooth realignment. Many patients report this custom bite splint is their prized possession and they cannot sleep well without it.

If you snore, you may have obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Tran has expertise in OSA treatment with oral appliances. If you have mild to moderate OSA, you may not need a CPAP machine. Instead, a custom OSA appliance can keep your jaw slightly forward and your teeth apart, and thus maintain an open airway as you sleep. Dr. Tran is knowledgeable about effective dual therapy for OSA and bruxism, which will help eliminate TMD and prevent TMD from becoming a chronic problem.

Find Relief from TMD by Calling Mangrove Bay Dentistry Today

TMD not only causes serious discomfort, it also causes excessive wear on teeth that over time leads to the need for extensive dentistry. Find the relief you need with Dr. Tran’s expert care.

Call our office today to schedule your TMD consultation — (813) 314-7137.