If you have had a recent toothache, the cause may be jaw pain and not a problem with your tooth. A few common symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) are jaw pain, a clicking or popping jaw, locked jaw, or a dislocated jaw. This happens when the joint becomes warn down from teeth grinding or clenching. Typically, patients grind their teeth while they sleep or when they feel stressed. Additionally, you may also develop TMD after an accident.
If you have jaw pain, the first thing you should do is call Cedar Bluff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. There are a number of treatment options, some of which are listed below, that we can perscribe to relieve your pain. Before your appointment, there are a few options you can do at home to ease your discomfort such as, over-the-counter medication, avoiding painful jaw movements, and practicing relaxation. However, no matter the level of your pain, you should visit Cedar Bluff for a professional examination. Below are a few treatment options that Dr. Bayer may suggest to treat your TMD.
Night Guard or Splint
Often, teeth grinding occurs without realizing it. This can happen in traffic, while sleeping, or in a stressful situation. To relieve the pressure on your teeth, Dr. Bayer may give you a split, usually worn at all times, or a night guard, worn while sleeping. A plastic barrier is placed between your top and bottom teeth with a retainer which protects the enamel on your teeth along with decreasing the wear on your jaw joint.
Dr. Bayer may prescribe a number of prescription medications such as, a higher dose painkiller, a muscle relaxer, or an anti-anxiety medication. Similar to over-the-counter pain medications, higher doses of NSAID painkillers can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. Anti-anxiety medications along with muscle relaxers helps to calm the body and avoid grinding. This can prevent the condition from worsening.
Other Dental Procedures
Sometimes TMD occurs when your bite is uneven. Missing teeth can be repaired with implants, crowns, or bridges to even your bite. Talk to Dr. Bayer to see if this treatment option can help you.
If your jaw is locked or other treatment options do not work, you may be a candidate for surgery. Check with Dr. Bayer and her team before making this decision. Types of surgeries include: arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery. An arthrocentesis is used to rinse the jaw muscle and remove the damaged disc stuck in the TMJ. An Arthroscopy removes scar tissue and fluid. For more complex TMD cases, open-joint surgery may be necessary.
Jaw pain can be unbearable, but you do not have to live with this pain. There are a few options that can improve your symptoms at home, but to relieve the pain and to protect your teeth and jaw, you should call Dr. Bayer and her team. So, if you are experiencing jaw pain, locked jaw, or facial pain, visit Dr. Bayer at Cedar Bluff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry to plan a visit, today!