How your dentist in Okemos, MI, can help with jaw pain
Do you have jaw pain that comes and goes, but never completely goes away? If so, it may be more than just jaw pain—you could have TMD. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, and it involves the TMJ, a complex joint responsible for opening and closing your jaw. If you have TMD and it goes untreated, it can result in chronic headaches, facial pain, and other debilitating signs and symptoms.
Fortunately, your dentist, Dr. Eric Eby, can help. Here at Eby Dental Care in Okemos, MI, we offer a wide range of dental services, including treatments for TMD.
More about TMD and how we can help
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, opens and closes your jaw with a unique sliding action. The sliding means that your TMJ can become displaced easily, resulting in friction as the joint moves. Increased friction causes inflammation, irritation, and eventually, damage to the joint.
The signs and symptoms of TMD are significant. When you have TMD, chances are that you will experience:
- Chronic, recurring headaches
- Radiating, aching facial pain
- Pain in or around your ears
- Tenderness and pain in your jaw
- Pain and difficulty chewing
- Popping or clicking when you move your jaws
- Your jaws locking in place when you open and close your mouth
If you think you might have TMD, it’s important to avoid foods that hard, sticky, or chewy, and to not chew gum. Additionally, if you think that you might be clenching or grinding your teeth at night, talk with Dr. Eby about a nightguard, which can reduce the stress on your jaws. You can also try applying ice or moist heat to your jaws and gently massaging your jaw muscles. Tylenol or ibuprofen can help for minor pain.
For moderate to severe cases of TMD, you should seek out your dentist. Dr. Eby may recommend:
- Custom-fit bite guards or night splints
- Stretching exercises for your jaws
- Physical therapy to decrease stiffness
- Medications including muscle relaxants, sedatives, and pain relievers
You don’t have to suffer from TMD pain. Get some help by talking to an expert. Call Dr. Eric Eby of Eby Dental Care in Okemos, MI, today by dialing (517) 349-9860.