TMJD FAQs

TMJ FAQs

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How to Successfully Deal with Your Own TMJD

Tempero Mandibular Joint Disorders (TMJD) can be a complicated and painful condition, but fortunately there are simple and effective treatments available. Many treatments for relieving the symptoms can be carried out by yourself. There are however some cases which will require an oral device.

There are a number of beneficial local conservative treatments. These include controlling and cutting out stress with methods like yoga, pilates, relaxation, and hypnotherapy. Dietary changes, e.g. cutting out coffee and stimulant drinks, along with moving to a soft diet and consuming less red meat. Warm moist heat can be applied during acute phases. Exercising the jaw by standing in front of a mirror and opening and closing the jaw, moving the jaw on closing to one side giving the discomfort, and making an attempt to hold the lower jaw so the upper and lower tooth centre lines are in-line with one another. Regularise sleep patterns. And lastly trying drugs, however they are frequently non effective.

Commonly the first line of treatment will be to use an oral device. These devices are also referred to as splints and look a bit like a sports mouth guard. The splint will provide pain alleviation and reduce the stress on the jaw. The splint may also help improve your bite while it is being used and it may also help the jaw joint find a rather more therapeutic position within the socket. Effective splint treatment is frequently an indication that bruxism was behind the TMJD.

The Somnowell Chrome oral device works in the same way as the conventional plastic splints. It is worn in the mouth at night time and is designed to reduce clenching and grinding. The Somnowell Chrome oral device works as a barrier to bruxism and jaw parafunction. It also works by holding the lower jaw symmetrically forward against the base of the skull which is thought to lead to an unloading of the Jaw joints, a resting of the muscles of mastication and facial expression whilst also discouraging jaw parafunction and bruxism. The Somnowell Chrome however is made from cobalt alloy is extremely strong and robust, like gold it is less likely to be deformed or degraded in the mouth and is impervious to the effects of clenching and grinding. Another benefit is the improved cleanliness, chrome cobalt alloy is highly resistant to oral fungi, unlike plastic devices that need intensive maintenance and quickly become unsightly and smelly.

What are the Causes of Jaw Pain?

The jaw joints are one of the most complex in the human body. These joints are on the right and left side of the face and connect the lower jaw to the skull. They're used each time we talk, chew and swallow. The joint has two parts that permit the hinge and gliding motions required to open the mouth. If the jaw joints themselves are out of place the individual may experience muscle spasms, locking of the jaw, limited opening of the mouth, popping or clicking of the jaw joint, and pain. The nerve and muscle complex in this area is extremely complex.

Temperomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMD or TMJD, refers to a range of conditions that cause jaw pain. The features of TMJD are pain in and around the jaw joints, normally one sided but can be both, and maybe pain in the neck, face and shoulder. It is intermittent, though regularly worse in the morning, occasionally accompanied by earache, headache, or a migraine. It could be worse after eating or stretching the jaw open. And it's normally not relieved by most analgesics.

The TMJD may present itself as clicking or crepitus of the jaw joints, or difficulty in opening or closing the mouth. The muscles may be tender, and the area around the joint may feel tender to touch and pressure. There can also be tinnitus or giddiness.

Some TMJD cases might be due to a incorrect bite, in these cases corrections to the teeth and bite can be achieved through orthodontics or restorations. A dentist may then fit an oral device, often referred to as a splint. This is a plastic device that fits over the teeth and appears like a sports mouth guard. The point of the splint is to reduce grinding and clenching that frequently happens at night whilst the patient is asleep.

How Can I Know if I Have TMJD?

If you believe that you have TMJD it is recommended to see a doctor who can ensure that it is not something else with similar symptoms. Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) is frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed because it is so similar to other ailments. Many people suffer from headaches, neck discomfort and facial discomfort, and discomfort in the ear, e.g. ringing and buzzing. Many of us suffer from clicking and locking jaws which make any movement of the jaw difficult.

Temperomandibular Joint Disorders are a grouping of conditions that affect the jaw joint and the muscles of the neck, face and jaw. TMJD symptoms may appear not related to the jaw joint. Discomfort can happen in numerous different places, e.g. around the eyes or at the bottom of the skull, or round the ears, shoulder and neck. Sufferers may have some or the lion's share of these symptoms. People may not have conditions serious enough to require treatment, while others will be debilitated by the pain and have a reduced quality of life.

Pain in and round the jaw and face may also be the symptoms of other conditions like abscesses on the teeth, ear infections, and nerve damage. If you find that you do infact have TMJD, as confirmed in a diagnosis from a doctor or appropriately trained dentist, you will need to educate yourself on the different types of treatment available.

For a long time these symptoms were considered not related and misdiagnosed. Today practitioners that have been properly trained can identify these symptoms as being related Temperomandibular Disorders (TMD). These same practitioners are then able to identify the causes and provide suitable treatment.

TMJD may present itself as clicking or crepitus of the jaw joints, or difficulty in opening or closing the mouth. The muscles may be tender, and the area around the joint may feel tender to touch and pressure. There can also be tinnitus or giddiness. An Xray will usually find nothing as it is often in the muscles and soft tissues.

What is the Best Treatment for TMJD?

The first step in the management of TMJD is recognition of the condition and giving the patient a diagnosis and name of the problem. There should additionally be reassurance and resting of the muscles. Other causes also have to be excluded, for example dental illness, partly erupted molar teeth, and ENT causes.

There are a number of beneficial local conservative treatments. Interventions range all the way from acupuncture, which is reported to give discomfort alleviation. Medications that Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons may prescribe in small doses, such as Tryciclic anti depressants which have a muscle relaxant effect. To surgery as a last resort. Oral Surgeons may open the Temperomandibular joints, but the risks are high, especially of nerve damage, and there is associated external facial scar tissue.

You will need to find a dentist that is trained and experienced in treating TMJD. A dentist may then fit an oral device, also known as a splint. This is a plastic device that fits over the teeth and appears like a sports mouth guard. The purpose of the splint is to reduce grinding and clenching that frequently happens at night whilst the patient is asleep.

The Somnowell Chrome oral appliance is made of chrome cobalt alloy. Like gold this is an ideal material for long-term use in the mouth. It does not suffer oral wear and tear to the same extent as plastic devices. Furthermore it is extremely robust and the devices are small and discreet. The Somnowell Chrome is far less bulky than plastic devices due to the strength of the chrome cobalt alloy. The overall result is a much more comfortable device and an effective treatment for TMJD.

Often the Somnowell Chrome will use a connector on the left and right hand side that holds the lower jaw forward. The Somnowell Chrome introduces very little vertical opening ( depending on the individual case) and as a result the jaw joint is in an upwards and forwards position. This seems to be preferable and gives relief and rest for the joint. The Somnowell Chrome is worn in the mouth during sleep and periods of excessive stress and is designed to reduce jaw clenching and grinding. See garuntee conditions.

How to Identify a Good TJMD Appliance

Oral devices for TMJD have traditionally been made from plastic. Bite planes are bite raising appliances typically made by a dentist. They may be a soft acrylic bite guard, a rigid plastic framework with a soft bite surface, or a hard bite guard. The hard plastic bite guard might be trimmed to enable ideal functional jaw and tooth movements. These hard bite guards are called Michigen splints.

Whilst plastic is a cost effective material and straightforward to adjust, it does have some major limitations. It is a comparatively weak material and oral devices therefore have to be rather bulky which makes them uncomfortable for the patient to wear. Plastic devices quickly deform and degrade in the mouth, particularly when subjected to clenching and grinding, and have to be replaced regularly. Furthemore they quickly become infested by oral fungi and bacteria, making them unhygienic and unpleasant for the patient to wear.

The Somnowell Chrome appliance is the newest generation of splint for TMJD. It is made from chrome cobalt alloy and offers many advantages over the standard plastic splints. Chrome cobalt alloy is extremely strong and robust, Like gold it is less likely to deform or degrade in the mouth and is more resilient to tooth grinding, jaw parfunction and bruxism see warantee / guarantee. The Somnowell Chrome is also much smaller and therefore more comfortable. It has the extra advantages of being highly resistant to oral fungi and very hard wearing. After many years of normal usage with regular care, the Somnowell Chrome appliance will feel and look exactly the same. The Somnowell Chrome adjustment features enable the Somnowell partner dentist to titrate the Somnowell Chrome device to achieve the optimal jaw balance for the individual patient and in many cases this may be achived in incramental stages. The overall result ia a much more agreeable experience for the user and an effective treatment for TMJD.