The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is considered one of the most complicated joints in the body. In part, because it’s the only joint that has to work simultaneously on both the right and left side. Unfortunately, this also means it’s more prone to misalignment or dysfunction, which often makes it difficult to eat, laugh, or yawn and may even lead to headaches. To alleviate jaw pain and help the TMJ function the way it should, Dr. Greenwood offers TMJ therapy in Sagamore Hills. If you think you may suffer from TMD (temporomandibular disorder), contact us today to schedule a consultation.
A common cause of TMD is nighttime clenching and grinding, but it can also be caused by the following:
All the muscles in the head, neck and jaws are connected. When the TMJ isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to multiple symptoms and signs such as:
As a dentist with decades of experience, Dr. Greenwood has found that treatment serves multiple purposes. It relieves pain and discomfort, restores function to and protects the TMJ from deterioration, and prevents cracks, chips and other types of damage to your teeth.
The first step is having an exam. After discussing your history and symptoms, he’ll gently palpate your jaw joints and muscles. As you open and close your mouth, he will assess your range of motion, and identify any areas of discomfort. Dr. Greenwood will also look for any dental signs of parafunctional habits and evaluate your bite to see how your teeth come together.
For many people, a custom-made oral appliance such as a nightguard or occlusal splint provides significant relief. These lightweight devices reposition your jaw while you sleep and help the TMJ function properly. This not only reduces tension in the joints and muscles but absorbs the forces of clenching and grinding on your teeth. With continued use, one can better manage the symptoms associated with TMD.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Greenwood will make recommendations that often employ multiple therapies, as these treatments work well together to manage your symptoms and minimize your discomfort.