TMD Specialist

La Michoacana Dental Clinic

Dentists located in Houston, TX

If you have pain in your jaw when you yawn or open your mouth wide, it could be due to temporomandibular disorder. The team of dentists at La Michoacana Dental Clinics in Houston, Texas, has extensive knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and treating temporomandibular disorder. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with this condition, call their Parker Road or Barker Cypress Road clinic today or book an appointment online.

TMD Q & A

What is temporomandibular disorder?

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects the hinge in your jaw that enables you to eat, yawn, and talk. This hinge is called the temporomandibular joint, and it connects your lower jaw to the temporal bones on the sides of your skull. If the joint or the surrounding muscles are injured or damaged for any reason, it can cause pain and make it hard to perform these natural actions.

What causes temporomandibular disorder?

There are several possible reasons someone might develop temporomandibular disorder. Arthritis or other degenerative joint conditions can be a factor, as can chronic stress that causes you to clench your facial muscles and teeth. There’s no one definitive cause, but anything that affects the function of the joint’s hinge action can lead to TMD symptoms. It’s more common in women, and most often experienced by people aged between twenty and forty.

How will the dentist diagnose temporomandibular disorder?

Symptoms are often similar to other conditions, including tooth problems and gum disease, and may include:

  • Pain that radiates from your jaw into your face
  • Jaws locking into place, or the inability to open your mouth wide
  • Hearing a click or a grinding noise when you move your jaw
  • Problems with chewing, or a feeling that your teeth aren’t correctly aligned
  • Swelling on the affected side of your face

When you come for a consultation at La Michoacana Dental Clinic in Houston, Texas, the dentist examines your face and jaw and asks you about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. If further confirmation is needed, your dentist can also take x-rays and order MRI or CT scans to examine the joint in more detail.

What treatments are available for temporomandibular joint disorder?

You might need to take anti-inflammatory medication or a muscle relaxant to reduce swelling and tissue inflammation. You could also be prescribed treatment for anxiety if it’s causing you to over-tighten your facial muscles or clench your teeth. The dentist might recommend you wear a mouthguard when you sleep, or a splint during the day to reduce the damage caused by over-clenching and keep your teeth correctly aligned.

Missing or broken teeth can also cause temporomandibular disorder, which will need correcting with crowns, bridges, braces, or replacement teeth. There are other treatment options available too, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound therapy, anesthetic injections, and laser therapy, which your dentist will discuss with you at the clinic. To get relief from temporomandibular pain and discomfort, book an appointment online or call the La Michoacana Dental Clinic today.

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