If you’ve been suffering from unexplained headaches, teeth grinding, jaw pain, tenderness or locking of your jaw joint, or a popping sound when chewing, you might be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. While not rare, this condition can still be so painful it can negatively affect the quality of your life!
At Eugene Family Dental, we’ve been treating TMD patients and providing headache and migraine solutions for years. We’ve come to find some of the most effective treatments available and would love to help relieve your pain and prevent wear and tear on your teeth and joints!
What is TMD?
TMD’s cause is still uncertain, but it can be brought on or aggravated by a variety of factors. Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, can cause it, as can clenching of your jaw, injury to your head or neck muscles, and arthritic conditions. What is certain is that it is tied to a problem in the way your muscles operate your temporomandibular joint, causing it to rub, grind, and work incorrectly.
How Do You Treat TMD?
Because the symptoms that point to TMD can also indicate other conditions, we’ll start with a through examination of your teeth, mouth, and bone structure. The results of our inspections, X-rays, and modeling are all used to help determine the source of the pain, which can help us make treatment recommendations and diagnoses.
We’ll look for wear on your teeth to help us determine what kind of long-term consequences we’ll need to prevent, and we’ll also discuss ways to protect your teeth. Treating TMD can often be easy since the main point is to relieve pain. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a night guard.
A night guard is a small device that sits over your front few teeth and keeps your jaw in a neutral position. We design each night guard based on an impression of your mouth, so you can be sure that your oral appliance will be uniquely fit for your needs.
By keeping your jaw in a neutral position, we are able to achieve several results. First, the night guard holds your jaw in place and prevents nighttime teeth grinding. This can prevent excess wear and protect your teeth, as well as alleviate muscle tension and pain.
Second, our splints can help to “deprogram” your jaw muscles and stimulate healthy jaw use. Because your muscle use is subconscious, it’s hard to retrain your jaw to move in a different way. By wearing your night guard, you place your jaw muscles in a neutral position that will help them relax and find a new “home position” that can lead to less pain in the future!
If you still have pain during the day, you can continue to wear your night guard. The more you wear it, the more relaxed and comfortable your jaw muscles will be!
How Do I Get a Night Guard?
When we diagnose your TMD, we’ll take an impression of your mouth, which will be sent to our dental lab. They’ll produce your night guard based on your impression and the other data we provide, and in just one week or so, you’ll have your night guard! We’ll have you back for a second appointment to ensure it fits properly, and then you’ll have a chance to get a restful night of sleep without any morning pain!
In the event that your night guard isn’t completely effective, we can explore other options. One of the most common procedures for patients with severe and hard-to-treat TMD is jaw surgery, which we’ll be happy to help you schedule with an area oral surgeon.
If you are suffering from pain in your jaw, don’t let it disturb your life any longer! We can offer quality headache and migraine solutions, and we’ll gladly do so as soon as you call! You can schedule an appointment by calling us
at 541-484-1235 or by filling out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you soon!
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