TMJ & TMD Treatment

The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the small temporal bones in your skull that are in front of each ear. If you have problems with this joint, such as pain or locking, consult the experienced dentists at Northwest Dental Services & Dental Implant Center. They’ve helped thousands of patients in the Tacoma, Washington area with temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. Call today or use the online booking agent to make an appointment and ease your jaw pain today.

TMJ & TMD Treatment Q & A

What are the Symptoms of TMD?

TMD is sometimes mistakenly called TMJ, after the joint. But, TMD is really the correct way to refer to problems related to jaw and muscles in your face.

TMD is characterized by a number of different symptoms, including:

  • Pain in your face, jaw, neck, shoulders, and around your ear, especially when you chew or open your mouth widely
  • Bite shifting
  • Clicking or popping sounds at the jaw joint
  • Swelling on one side or both sides of your face
  • Jaws that lock or stick in an open position

Other possible side effects of TMD include headaches, toothaches, dizziness, and earaches.

How is TMD Diagnosed?

Dr. Martin can rule out other conditions, including tooth decay and sinus problems, that could be causing your symptoms. He can test your bite, check your jaw joint, and ensure the joint works as it should. He may also order specific imaging tests, including low dose cone beam CT , to view your jaws and their structure.

What are the Treatments for TMD?

Dr. Martin may offer suggestions for lifestyle remedies to improve your pain from TMD, such as sticking to soft food and avoiding movements that cause you to open your mouth too widely. Moist heat and ice packs applied to your jaw area can also relieve uncomfortable tension. Many people find relief after just a couple weeks of these therapies.

Dr. Martin may provide a treatment plan that might include various pharmacologic agents including anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, nerve relaxing medications, and others.

In some cases, an orthotic splint may be helpful in treating temporomandibular joint disorders. Dr. Martin believes in a multidisciplinary approach for care, so he works closely with other specialists in the area, including orthodontists, oral surgeons, general dentists, massage therapists, physical therapists, physiatrists and neurologists.

Other therapies might include TENS stimulation, botox injections, steroid injection, spray and stretch, prolotherapy, and hyaluronic acid injection.