TMJ / TMD

Get Effective Relief from Headaches in Royal Oak

What are TMJ and TMD? What’s the difference?

Royal Oak TMJ patient who is headache free in Ferndale MITMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. TMJ connects your lower jaw to your skull. TMD refers to temporomandibular joint disorder. If you’re having trouble with your jaw, jaw joints, and the connecting muscles, then you are experiencing TMD.

Some of the symptoms of TMD include headaches, facial discomfort, difficulty opening your mouth, locked or stuck jaw, swelling of your face and difficulty chewing. Common causes of TMD include:

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Dislocation
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stress induced tightening of facial muscles

TMJ Treatment Benefits

Decreased discomfort | Headaches and swelling of the face are just a few of the symptoms. Treatment at our Royal Oak practice can help lower this discomfort.
Conservative | Most treatment options are minimally intrusive. Although there are cases where surgery is required, for the most part TMJ treatments are conservative.
Self-care | There are many options available for self-care, which puts the control right in your hands.

So, what are my treatment options?

  • Self-care | Utilizing ice-packs and moist heat will help bring down swelling and improve movement of the joint. Exercise is also good. There are a number of stretching exercises we can go over with you that will help manage discomfort.
  • Medicine | There are several types of medication that can help with TMD. We’ll be happy to go over which would serve you best.
    • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
    • Muscle relaxers
    • Anti-anxiety medication
    • Antidepressants
  • Splints | Occlusal splints – or Night Guards – are fitted to your teeth and keep them from grinding together. There are different types of splints available. We can discuss which one is right for you.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) | When basic treatments don’t work TENS uses low-level electrical currents to relax your jaw.
  • Ultrasound | A deep heat treatment, it helps to relax your joint when it’s sore or won’t move.
  • Trigger-point injections | We inject medicine or anesthetic into the facial muscle to relieve TMD discomfort.
  • Surgery | When there is no other recourse, surgery does remain an option. However, this should only be used when all other options have been exhausted.
TMJ/TMD is a condition that can hinder your quality of life. We at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry understand this and will work with you to improve your symptoms and give you back your happy, comfortable smile. Call us today if you are in Royal Oak, Ferndale, or Birmingham MI!