Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), is a common condition that limits the primary functions of the jaw, such as opening and closing the mouth, and chewing. More than 10 million people in the United States are affected, and it is more often diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20-40. However, regardless of your age, you should still see your dentist if you notice any of the symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw fatigue
- Popping sounds in the jaw
- Locking jaw
- Difficulty opening mouth to eat and talk
- Neck pain
- Headaches and earaches
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to get help as soon as you can. TMD can be caused by a number of factors, including injury, teeth clenching, and poor jaw or teeth alignment.
Your dentist will check for any tenderness in your jaw muscles, and if TMD is discovered, they might refer you to a specialist dentist, a physician, or a physical therapist for further diagnosis. Contact our practice in Abbeville, Louisiana for further advice and an initial appointment.
What Is TMD Therapy?
TMD Therapy can be carried out by a qualified physical therapist. A number of treatments will be offered to you, depending on the cause of your particular disorder. These can include:
Posture Education: The physical therapist will help you become more aware of your posture so that you can improve the position of your jaw, head, neck, and other upper body parts while resting.
Manual therapy: The physical therapist will use hands-on techniques to increase the movement in your tissues and joints. This can include stretching your jaw to restore joint and muscle flexibility. Your therapist might also teach you a few low-pressure exercises that you can try at home.
Pain treatments: If your pain is particularly severe, your therapist will recommend specialist treatments. While these can include hands-on techniques to reduce the pain, other treatments can include ultrasound and mild electrical stimulation.
While TMD therapy is effective for many patients, you might be referred back to your dentist if the TMD is caused by teeth alignment problems. Special appliances can be recommended to you by your dentist, including mouth guards that can improve jaw function.
The Benefits Of TMD Therapy
The benefits of TMD are clear, as, with the right help, you will be able to move your jaw freely again. Other key benefits include:
- Reduced pain in your jaw, face, and body
- Relief from TMD symptoms
- The ability to enjoy eating again
- No more restrictions when talking
- A boost to your mood and quality of life
- Reduced risk of dental damage
Please note: While these benefits can all come from TMD therapy, you should also receive these benefits from dental treatment or surgery if these are recommended to you.
Getting Help In Abbeville, Louisiana
If you suspect you have TMD, get in touch with us today. We will discuss your concerns and history of TMD and will offer you a range of options to tackle this painful problem. For immediate pain, we can recommend painkillers to you, and as one solution, we can order a mouth guard for you. This can take away the pressure from grinding and biting.
If further help is needed, we will refer you to the necessary professional. This can include a physical therapist, but it might be that a specialist dentist or a physician is needed to diagnose and treat your TMD.