TMJ-TMD treatment in Richmond

Dr. Laurie Estes and Dr. Ken Brehnan are our orthodontists serving our friends from the wonderful city of Richmond. There are many things we can help you with, including facial pain related to your TMJ. TMJ is just a much easier way to call the joint connecting our jawbones to our skulls.

Many individuals report significant discomfort around the area following some stressful events. Still, the complications are not limited to discomfort, and its causes aren’t only stress-related. Some time ago, a study determined that fewer than 10% of US adults would suffer from complications related to their TMJ.

People can suffer from a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), resulting in severe pain and additional complications. If you seek professional help to manage TMD symptoms, you’ve come to the right place.

Read along to learn more about how we can help you deal with this problem.

What Is TMJ-TMD Treatment in Richmond?

Orthodontists focus on the alignment of teeth and jaws to treat dental health problems. Still, the Temporomandibular Joint is a tricky case. Researchers and professionals still haven’t solved the challenge of determining the exact causes of TMD, so treatment, here in Richmond and everywhere else, is still limited to alleviating or managing clinical signs.

We want to make sure that you are as comfortable and healthy as possible. Therefore, any treatment will begin with a thorough revision of your medical history and symptoms.

Please share all the relevant information and include every detail to help our specialists diagnose the severity of your TMD. The treatment can only be efficient if we know of everything that needs attention.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your planned treatment. Quite often, a patient’s additional questions can reveal important information that professionals overlook. There are no bad questions.

We will also use advanced imaging like dental x-rays to get a closer look at the affected area and come up with the proper treatment.

Your treatment may start with simple ways to manage your pain. Using ice-packs or short-term muscle-relaxing drugs can go a long way to manage your clinical signs. However, the severity of your TMD can be such that we could recommend corrective surgery.

Such an invasive procedure needs additional planning and help from other specialists. As such, we will make sure to share any information you need to let you make the best decision.

What Causes TMD?

Well, this is a difficult one. Researchers are still trying to answer that question, but there is nothing definitive. We cannot attribute this to constant use because everyone would have it. Your TMJ is under constant use.

There is a cartilage disc enabling up and down movements as well as moving your jaws from one side to another. These movements are part of day-to-day actions like talking, yawing, and chewing.

Other chronic health problems could be related to TMD. Think of some complications like grinding your teeth, arthritis, or past trauma to your jaw during an accident. Unfortunately, there is no clear relationship between these problems.

Women are also 1.5 times more likely to suffer from TMD, leading top researchers to investigate any possible relationship between this disorder and female hormones. Still, we won’t have clear results in some time.

What Are Some Symptoms of TMD?

Many patients report similar symptoms once they start suffering from TMD. The single most common symptom between patients suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is pain. Their pain can be either muscular or focalized on the joint.

Remember we mentioned your TMJ was involved with most of your daily actions like chewing and talking? Well, people feel constant pain when performing any actions that involve jaw movements.

If you feel such pain when you yawn, chew, or talk, you should ask an experienced orthodontist about getting help to manage your pain.

Patients who suffer from TMD for a long time might also feel constant headaches and dizziness, making it a severe complication that could keep them from operating heavy machinery or driving.

You may also have a more limited range of motion when suffering from TMD, so be mindful not to open your mouth too wide when you yawn or chew. This pain can also result from applying pressure, so be careful when you close your jaw to bite on something.

Other patients might have locking jaws, so try to avoid forcing your jaw in any direction if you have a locking jaw.

It is not uncommon to see some patients whose muscular pain radiates to their necks, shoulders, and up to their heads.

Get Help Now!

If you are looking for TMJ-TMD Treatment here in Richmond, you can count on the team here at Estes Orthodontics to gladly help you manage any symptoms.

Schedule a visit to start your treatment with a thorough review of your medical history; we will make sure to take everything into account and plan your treatment depending on your TMD’s severity.

FAQ about TMJ-TMD Treatment in Richmond, CA

What is the difference between TMJ and TMD?

Many patients use the terms interchangeably and search for TMJ-TMD treatment in Richmond, but one is the acronym for the body part while the other refers to a disorder causing pain and other symptoms. TMJ is the abbreviation for temporomandibular joint, whereas TMD refers to the disorder.

How can I tell if I have a TMJ and TMD disorder?

It’s always better to consult with a TMJ-TMD specialist in Richmond, but some symptoms include locking of your jaw when you try to open your mouth, pain radiating from your ear down your neck, or up towards the crown of your head, and more.

What treatments are available for TMJ and TMD disorders?

Mostly, any TMJ/TMD treatment aims to control any symptoms related to discomfort. The medical community is not sure of what causes this problem, so our only option in most cases of a mild TMD is to treat symptoms. Some patients may require surgery, however.

How can I prevent TMJ and TMD disorder?

There are some risk factors associated with TMJ-TMD disorder in Richmond. Some stress-related habits, such as clenching your teeth and jaws, may contribute to the pain and discomfort, but you will require help from a specialist to know what to do in your case.

What happens if you don’t treat TMJ and TMD?

TMD is not a life-threatening problem; however, untreated cases of this disorder cause considerable discomfort, anxiety, and tension. Patients may require professional guidance to overcome some of the negative effects associated with TMD.

Can TMD cause headaches?

Certainly yes. TMJ-TMD disorder in Richmond causes significant discomfort, and as the pain radiates from the affected area around your jaw, it causes headaches.

Does TMJ/TMD need surgery?

Not all cases of TMJ-TMD disorder in Richmond will require surgery; however, we recommend you visit an orthodontist who can determine if there are problems with your oral and skeletal development that indicate a need for oral surgery.

Are there any exercises I can do for my TMJ/TMD pain?

Many patients will be glad to know there are some stretching and relaxing jaw exercises that can help relieve pain. Side-to-side jaw movements, opening or closing your jaw while applying some resistance with your fingers, and other movements will help alleviate your TMJ-TMD disorder in Richmond.

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. If needed, early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.