TMD-Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
-Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD for short, is a condition involving the joints, muscles, nerves and teeth involved with jaw movement. It could be related to one or all components. When not working harmoniously or in sync, or the chewing system is improperly aligned, a variety signs or uncomfortable and potentially painful symptoms may result for patients.
-The wide range of possible resulting symptoms is what has historically made correctly diagnosing TMD challenging. If Dr Dyras or Hutcheson suspect TMD might be an issue, they will perform a thorough physical examination of the area and overall chewing system evaluating your jaw movement and noting any related tenderness or discomfort.
-There are a variety of treatments available to assist with properly diagnosing and alleviating some or all TMD discomfort, depending on the nature and severity of the issues causing it. It is important to work closely with Dr Dyras or Hutcheson to create a treatment plan that best meets your unique needs.
-For patients experiencing jaw pain and/or tooth wear due to nighttime grinding and jaw clenching, Dr Dyras or Hutcheson may recommend an occlusal appliance- commonly called a nightguard or bite splint to help alleviate the complications associated with the condition. It is not uncommon for tooth wear to be associated with certain airway or breathing conditions, so Dr Dyras or Hutcheson may discuss this with you as well.
-A bite splint is a device that is worn in the mouth overnight and creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, eliminating the damage they cause by rubbing against each other. It also promotes improved jaw and bite alignment which can help address uneven tooth wear. Research has shown that a well-designed hard appliance will help to relax the musculature- reducing wear even when it is not being worn.
-There are several designs and styles of appliances available to assist with treatment. Dr Dyras or Hutcheson will expertly design your individualized appliance to ensure optimal bite alignment and maximum protection from additional tooth wear.
-Given the potential for costly dental treatments caused by untreated tooth wear, it is critical to work closely with Dr Dyras or Hutcheson to proactively treat the issue before more damage is sustained.