Our doctors and team at Eagle Orthodontics want to ensure that you enjoy excellent oral health and function. We provide treatments for TMJ disorders to help you regain a healthy, pain-free jaw function so that you can enjoy your smile without any discomfort. Call us today at 970-328-1075 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Dustin Roden-Johnson and Dr. Lizabeth de la Cruz and learn more about TMJ treatments in Eagle, Edwards, or Vail, Colorado.
Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (also known as TMD or TMJ) can arise from many different factors related to the anatomy of the joint, the nervous system, and the bite (also known as occlusion). The problem can originate with one or all of the aforementioned factors, which makes the diagnosis very challenging, and provides great difficulty in determining a prognosis. To successfully treat TMD, it is imperative to have the proper diagnosis; otherwise, the practitioner will find himself applying the same treatment modality with limited or unpredictable success.
The most common cause of TMD is related to stress and other psychological factors. Most all individuals will experience some type of discomfort related to the TMJ during a lifetime, and these occurrences are usually related to physiological stress. For most of these incidences, it is not necessary to treat the patient very aggressively, and some type of NSAID (aspirin, Advil, etc.) is usually all that is needed.
Disorders of the TMJ can also arise from some type of injury to the face; in these instances, the damage can be more severe because one or more of the structures in the face can be distorted and not function appropriately. In such instances, the treatment will most often require the aid of a surgeon and, occasionally, the help of other dental specialists, such as an orthodontist or general dentist.
The patient’s bite or occlusion can also be the culprit of the TMD. This can result in dysfunction of the muscles controlling the opening and closing, excessive wear on teeth, and dislocation of one or more of the bony and cartilaginous structures of the joint. This type of TMD is the most challenging because it is first necessary to identify how the bite is malfunctioning. The joint and the muscles of the joint operate in 3 dimensions, and any one of these can be off when the patient’s mouth opens and closes. In these situations, it is often important to have the help of one or more dental specialist to achieve the best function and esthetics.
When attempting to treat TMD, it is always important to acquire a detailed description of the symptoms from the patient, perform a clinical exam with a trained practitioner, obtain the correct digital imaging, and start in a conservative manner so as to follow a specific diagnostic tree. Often, individuals will attempt to treat themselves with over-the-counter drugs or appliances. This is strongly discouraged because these products often do not help the situation, and they tend to mask the symptoms. If you are having issues, please see someone who has had experience in successfully treating TMD, as they can ultimately provide the best relief for the disease.
For more information about TMD disorders and treatments, call our practice today.