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Jaw Joint Problems

What is TMD?
• Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJD), also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome and temporomandibular disorder among others, is an umbrella term covering pain and dysfunction of the muscles of mastication (the muscles that move the jaw) and the temporomandibular joints (the joints which connect the mandible to the skull).

What are the causes of TMD?
• Heavy blow or whiplash injury
• Disc displacement
• Degenerative joint diseases- osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.
• Stress
• Bruxism, severe tooth wear, collapsed bite, etc
• Crowded teeth

Three classical, cardinal signs of TMD are:
• Pain and tenderness on palpation in the muscles of mastication, or of the joint itself (pain felt just in front of the ear). Pain is the defining feature of TMD and is usually aggravated by manipulation or function, such as when chewing, clenching, or yawning, and is often worse upon waking. The character of the pain is usually dull or aching, poorly localized, and intermittent, although it can sometimes be constant. The pain is more usually unilateral (located on one side).
• Limited range of mandibular movement, which may cause difficulty eating or even talking. There may be locking of the jaw, or stiffness in the jaw muscles and the joints, especially present upon waking. There may also be incoordination, asymmetry or deviation of mandibular movement.
• Noises from the joint during mandibular movement, which may be intermittent. Joint noises may be described as clicking, popping or crepitus (grating).

Management of TMD
• MEDICAL THERAPY
At specilised dental clinic we may prescribe analgesics to relieve pain, anti-anxiety drugs and/or antidepressants for stress.
• APPLIANCE THERAPY
We generally starts with deprogramming splint which relieves muscles of mastication from tension. This has to be worn for specific amount of time every day.
During and after the treatment we advise use of night guards to lessen the effects of bruxism and prevent further tooth wear.
• DENTAL TREATMENT
At our specialist dental centrewe deal with all the dental problems which can be the culprit for the present situation.
Once the muscles are deprogrammed with deprogramming appliance, we undertake in detail dental examination, xrays, audiovisual records and models to design complete treatment plan.
The treatment may include variety of procedures like replacing missing teeth with implants or bridge.
Correcting collapsed bite initially with provisional crowns and later replacing them with definitive crowns. Sometimes malaligned teeth or crooked may require orthodontic therapy.

The treatment of this disorder may include one or all the procedures to achieve favorable results.

• PHYSIOTHERAPY
Prescribed exercises to relieve pain.