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Posts for tag: jaw pain

By Quality Dental of Danbury
April 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj disorders  

Chronic jaw pain can make eating, speaking or even smiling difficult. What's more, finding the right treatment approach can be just as difficult.

This is because TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder: named for the joints on either side of the lower jaw) actually describes a wide range of possible problems with the joints and connecting muscles. Any of them can result in impaired jaw function, radiating pain or even headaches.

We'll need to conduct a full dental and facial exam to accurately diagnose your jaw pain's cause. Even then, the way may still not be clear: there's considerable debate among dentists about the best treatment approach. Two basic schools of thought prevail, one conservative and non-invasive and the other more aggressive and interventional.

The conservative approach seeks to alleviate symptoms in a variety of ways, including recommending softer foods to give muscles and joints time to relax, applying cold and heat to ease soreness, massage of the jaw joint muscles, gentle stretching and jaw exercises. We may also prescribe medications like ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and swelling relief, and sometimes muscle relaxers to reduce spasms. If your pain stems from clenching or grinding habits, we could fit you with a custom bite guard you wear while you sleep to reduce the forces on your teeth.

The more aggressive approach is much more invasive. These methods include altering the bite or teeth position with orthodontics or dental work or surgically altering the joints themselves or the shape of the jaw. If you're recommended one of these more aggressive treatments, you should know they're not commonly used to treat TMD and they're irreversible. There's also no guarantee you'll gain relief from your symptoms, so by all means get a second opinion before undergoing any procedures.

For most people the best course of treatment is to start with the least invasive techniques, which are usually very successful. If they don't relieve your pain and limited function, we may then consider escalating treatment to more irreversible procedures to help you find relief from this unwelcome condition.

If you would like more information on jaw joint pain and how to treat it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Seeking Relief from TMD.”

By Quality Dental of Danbury
October 30, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj disorders  

If you have chronic jaw pain, you know how difficult eating, speaking or even smiling can be. Many sufferers will do anything to gain relief, even surgery. But before you go down that road, consider the traditional conservative approach to temporomandibular disorders (TMD) management first—it could provide the most relief with the least risk of side effects.

The temporomandibular joints connect the lower jaw to the skull on either side of the head. These ball and socket joints also contain a cushioning disk to facilitate movement. This disk is believed to be the primary focus for jaw pain problems known collectively as TMD.

Doctors now believe injury, stress, metabolic issues, jaw anatomy defects or similar factors trigger the chain reaction of muscle spasms, pain and soreness that can erupt during a TMD episode. A TMD patient may experience pain within the jaw muscles or joints themselves, clicking sensations, or an inability to open the jaw to its full range.

TMD therapy has traditionally followed an orthopedic path—treating jaw joints like any other joint. In recent years, though, a more aggressive treatment model has emerged that promotes more invasive techniques like orthodontics, dental work or jaw surgery to relieve discomfort. But the track record for this model, especially concerning jaw surgery, remains hazy at best and offers no guarantee of relief. These techniques are also irreversible and have even made symptoms worse in some patients.

It’s usually prudent, then, to try conservative treatments first. This can include pain and muscle relaxant medication, jaw exercises, stretching and massage, and dietary changes to reduce chewing force. Patients with teeth grinding habits may also benefit from a bite guard worn at night to reduce the biting force during sleep and help the joints relax.

By finding the right mix of treatments, you may be able to find significant relief from TMD symptoms with the conservative approach. If not, you might then discuss more invasive options with your dentist. But even if your dentist recommends such a procedure, you would be wise to seek a second opinion.

TMD can definitely interfere with your quality of life and peace of mind. But there are ways to reduce its effects and make for a happier life.

If you would like more information on managing chronic jaw pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Seeking Relief from TMD.”

By Quality Dental of Danbury
November 10, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj   jaw pain  

If your jaw pain has begun to affect your day-to-day life, you could have a jaw-related condition like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) jaw apindisorder. However, you may not know how or when this condition developed. In this case, finding out the cause of your jaw pain is a crucial part of diagnosing and treating it. Learn more about jaw pain and what causes it with Quality Dental of Danbury in Danbury, CT.

What is TMJ disorder? 
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your jaw. These joints control the opening and closing motion of your mouth. TMJ disorder occurs when the joints become inflamed or damaged, causing pain and inflammation. If left untreated, TMJ disorder can lead to further complications and severe pain and discomfort.

Do I have TMJ disorder? 
TMJ disorder is characterized by some specific symptoms, including:

  • clicking or popping noise when opening or closing the mouth
  • pain or swelling of the temporomandibular joint
  • difficulty opening the mouth
  • frequent earaches or headaches
  • pain in the shoulders or back

TMJ disorder comes from a variety of causes. Some of the main causes are bruxism (teeth clenching or grinding), uneven bite, certain diseases, like arthritis, stress, and general daily wear and tear of the joint.

TMJ Disorder Treatment in Danbury, CT
Your dentist at Quality Dental of Danbury is your best source of information on TMJ disorder treatments and determining which is best for you. Treatment often begins conservatively with lifestyle changes, such as decreasing stress, resting the joint more frequently and some specialized exercises and stretches. A dental device worn while sleeping can help prevent the bruxism causing your TMJ disorder. Medication and steroid injections may also be beneficial. In severe cases of TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend surgery to manually correct the problem.

For more information on TMJ disorder, please contact Dr. James Tagliarini or Dr. Yana Rosenstein at Quality Dental of Danbury in Danbury, CT. Call (203) 743-2232 to schedule your appointment for a consultation with your dentist today!