Oral Splints, Restorative Dentistry, and Other Effective TMD Treatment
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, or TMD, is a chronic and sometimes life-altering condition. The problem occurs when your jaw joints are physically compromised or when the nearby muscles or ligaments become inflamed. Often, this damage results from an imbalanced bite or some type of trauma. Dr. Kyle F. Long provides effective TMD treatment at his Denver, CO, practice. Typically, he will use an oral splint to realign your jaw and take excessive pressure off of your jaw joints. In other instances, he may recommend restorative dentistry to redistribute the force of your bite. In either case, his treatment can dramatically ease your pain and have a tremendous benefit for your overall quality of life.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder frequently develops when the discs inside your joints slip out of place. These discs provide padding for the joints so the resulting friction can be quite painful. Similarly, a blow to the face can damage the joint, leading to chronic discomfort.
An oral splint is the most common treatment for TMD, and each device is customized to fit comfortably and snugly.
Frequently, your joints may be healthy, but an imbalanced bite can affect the surrounding tissues. For example, if you have worn or missing teeth, the nearby teeth will sustain more pressure when you bite down. In more severe cases, your entire dental arch could be crooked, or your jaw could be misaligned.
The Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
No matter what caused your TMD, you may experience a number of common symptoms. Unsurprisingly, jaw pain is the most common, although the discomfort can differ in severity. Like some patients, you may have minor, localized pain. Alternatively, you could have more severe throbbing or stabbing sensations that radiate to your head, neck, and shoulders. Other TMD symptoms may include:
- Chronic headaches
- Ear pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Swelling around your jaw
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth all the way
- Popping noise when you open or close your mouth
TMD Treatment Methods
Using a variety of techniques, Dr. Long can ease or eliminate your symptoms. He will evaluate your particular side effects and oral health to provide entirely personalized care. An oral splint is the most common treatment, and may be appropriate if your TMD is the result of a slipped disc or jaw misalignment. Your individually made device will fit over your teeth, and it will push your lower jaw forward. This realignment will alleviate pressure on your joints, while providing the surrounding tissue a chance to heal. In most cases, you will only need to wear your splint at night, and these devices are typically very easy to adjust to.
Depending on the cause of your TMD, Dr. Long may also recommend restorative dentistry, sometimes in conjunction with a splint. Dental crowns are a common option because they will build up worn or otherwise damaged teeth. If you are missing teeth, Dr. Long can repair your smile with a traditional bridge or an implant-supported restoration. In this way, he can improve your appearance and oral function. At the same time, he can redistribute force across your bite and relieve your jaw pain.
Contact Us for Outstanding Care
With his experience and skill, Dr. Long can provide the effective and long-lasting relief that you deserve. Contact his office today to book a consultation and find out the most effective option for your TMD.