What is TMJ?
TMJ is the abbreviation used to describe the temporomandibular joint, which connects your skull and your lower jaw bone (the mandible). This joint is integral to performing many functions of the teeth and mouth, such as chewing and talking. Pain in your TMJ while performing these actions can mean that you may have Temporomandibular Disorder, also called TMD.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
TMD presents itself through many different symptoms, which are often persistent and frustrating. These symptoms include:
- Pain or discomfort while chewing
- General pain or tenderness surrounding the jaw
- Aching pain around one or both of your ears
- Facial pain
- A clicking jaw
- A jaw that gets stuck open or closed
The above symptoms commonly mark TMD, but can also point to other health issues. Because of this, you should visit Dr. Mays to confirm a TMD diagnosis.
Are there any solutions for TMD?
There are a few options for short term pain relief, such as hot or cold compresses and over the counter pain relievers. However, these are not permanent solutions. Dr. Mays will work closely with you to diagnose and make a plan to combat your TMD. Sometimes, patients have behaviors that further agitate their TMD. Dr. Mays will begin by evaluating these behaviors and trying to curb them. Some behaviors, however, like grinding your teeth in your sleep, cannot be controlled by the patient. In this case, Dr. Mays will craft a bite splint for the patient, so the teeth grinding and jaw clenching can be controlled.
What is a bite splint?
A bite splint is a splint created to hold the jaw in place while you sleep, which allows grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw to subside. This can also help the pain caused by these behaviors to be alleviated. A bite splint is a great way for patients who suffer from TMD to get relief from some of their most persistent symptoms.
TMJ/TMD issues can be frustrating and painful. Dr. Mays is committed to providing the best care possible to all of her patients, regardless of the issue. At Dr. Mays’ office, you will receive individual care from her competent and confident team.