If you suffer from pain in your face or jaw, you may suffer from a TMJ Disorder, also known as TMD. At Laser Dental Bakersfield, we have many ways that we can help treat the disorder, depending on its severity and the issues you experience. Our dentists are experts in the treatment of TMD, helping our family patients experience less pain and giving them the ability to live a normal life.
What is the Difference Between TMJ and TMD?
TMJ is an often confusing term. TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, which is the joint connecting your jawbone and skull. It is not a disorder, but the joint. The Temporomandibular Joint is how you can chew, smile, talk, and move your mouth.
TMD stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Any dysfunction, pain, or swelling in the joint fall under this title. It encompasses any issues within the jaw or face muscles. Our dentists understand the pain and discomfort that result from TMD and are here to help you.
The Causes of TMD
There is not one cause of TMD; in fact, the cause can be different for each patient. For example, one patient may experience jaw pain from teeth clenching or grinding. Another patient may have discomfort in the jaw from an infection in the mouth (bones or teeth) and yet another may have an autoimmune disease that causes the discomfort.
We also see patients that were involved in an accident that caused the damage to their jaw. Car accidents and sports-related accidents can cause issues with the jaw. Whether the jawbone is knocked out of alignment, there is damage to the surrounding cartilage, or there is inflammation, it can cause pain and suffer in the TMJ.
The Symptoms of TMD
Just like there are different causes for TMD, there are also many different symptoms. They may include:
If you have pain in your jaw, neck, or face, our dentists can conduct a TMD exam to determine the cause of the issues. We start by asking about your medical history to determine any underlying causes that may be causing the pain. We will then conduct a physical exam, evaluating the jaw area carefully, looking for inflammation, tenderness, or noises when you open and close your jaw.
If we cannot tell what the problem is upon standard exam, we may suggest x-rays to get a better look at what is going on. In severe cases, an MRI or CT scan may be necessary to see the discs and bones in better detail.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaw, neck or face, call Laser Dental Bakersfield at (661) 241-9144 today for your appointment. Our supportive staff will set you up with a consultation so that our dentists can help you figure out the root of your problem and the necessary treatment to help you feel better.