TMJ/TMD Therapy - Glastonbury, CT
The Solution to Chronic Jaw Pain
If you place your fingers right in front of your earlobes and move your mouth, those little hinges you feel are actually your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. This is what allows your jaw to move fluidly whenever you eat, speak, laugh, or yawn.
Like other joints in the body, it can often develop issues due to stress, strain, injury, or arthritis, which can lead to a TMJ disorder, or TMD. This can cause chronic symptoms like a stiff and painful jaw, frequent headaches/earaches, and even unconscious teeth grinding to name a few.
This is a part of the body that is often completely overlooked by doctors when treating pain in the head, jaw, and neck, and this is why many patients with these problems can’t find long-term relief. Most doctors end up simply treating the symptoms instead of the root cause.
The Causes & Symptoms of TMD
The most common factors that can lead to a TMD include:
- A misalignment of the bite
- Injury to the face/jaw
- Arthritis in the joint
- Unconscious teeth grinding (bruxism)
This all puts a strain on the joints and muscles of the jaw, which in turn can lead to muscle tension that can spread throughout the body. This is why a TMD can cause a myriad of symptoms that seemingly have nothing to do with the jaw and teeth.
People suffering with TMD can experience:
- A stiff, painful jaw
- A jaw that becomes stuck opening or closing
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
Some can even develop back pain due to a TMD, as the body is one big interconnected system, and tension and pain in one part can easily cause them in another.
How We Can Help
When a patient comes to see us with these symptoms, the first thing we look at is their TMJ. We’ll take some X-rays to evaluate the joint, and we’ll also test the mobility of the jaw. A high number of migraine patients find out that they are also experiencing jaw pain without even realizing it during this initial exam.
If we do determine that a patient has a TMD, we have a few ways we can address it. For minor cases, we can simply give them stretches to do throughout the day that will help relax the tense facial muscles. If it’s more severe, we may choose to slightly reshape a few teeth to align the bite, or we may prescribe a mouthpiece for them to wear to bed. This will help shift the jaw into a more natural and healthy orientation, enabling the muscles to gradually heal on their own. After a few months of consistent use, most patients are able to go through their day symptom-free.
Come Get the Solution You Need
Right now, millions of Americans are dealing with chronic jaw, head, and neck pain because of a TMD, and most have no clue despite seeing multiple doctors. At Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine, we’re able to get to the root of these kinds of issues to provide patients the long-term relief that they need.
To schedule a consultation so we can start getting you out of pain, contact us today.