Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) is a term that describes a multitude of symptoms and is a result of many different causes. The condition involves any or all of the Temporomandibular Joint Tissues, including:
1) The temporomandibular joint itself, including the joint capsule, synovial tissues, articular meniscus,etc.
2) The surrounding musculature used for opening and closing the mouth and joints, as well as the musculature used to coordinate proper internal working of this unique joint during function.
3) The surrounding nerves and blood vessels innervating and perfusing the joint capsule as well as the surrounding musculature.
Symptoms can include any combination or all of the following:
a) Painful function during opening and closing
b) Annoying and/or painful clicking of the joints during function
3) Painful locking or limited opening of the lower jaw
4) Frequent headaches and tight, painful jaw muscles
There are many cause of TMD, including hereditary predispositions, prior history of trauma, frequent grinding or clenching, and a bad bite.
***Having a poor bite can be one of the most significant causes of TMD, and improvement of the bite through orthodontic correction can be one of the best treatment approaches when indicated.***
Another way for Dr. McDowell to correct the TMD symptoms is through the use of a customized splint, also known as a night-guard, orthotic, etc. This works by immediately supporting the jaw joints and musculature, so that the TMJ's can function better and hopefully improve on their own without the need for additional intervention such as surgery, etc.
At the initial examination, Dr. McDowell will do a thorough exam and help you determine what treatment is best for you. Please call our office today to schedule a complimentary exam.