Posts for tag: jaw pain

By Charles H. Dean DDS
April 11, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj   tmd  

What is that weird popping sound? Is it coming from your jaw? It happens when you open and close your mouth and sometimes when you jaw painchew. Your jaw hurts, too. These symptoms and more often characterize a common oral health condition called TMJ/TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Dr. Charles Dean and Dr. Christopher Cripe understand how frustrating and debilitating this problem can be, and they offer helpful TMJ/TMD treatment at Beavercreek Dental Group.

Reasons for TMJ/TMD

Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from some degree of TMJ/TMD, affecting the hinge-like joints at both sides of the skull. While jaw pain and those odd clicking and popping sounds are very common, these symptoms may occur, too:

  • Ear pain
  • Headaches
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Painful biting and chewing

While TMJ/TMD affects all kinds of people, women in their younger years seem more prone.

When a person is under a lot of stress, teeth clenching or grinding, called bruxism, may result. Bruxism can lead to the pain and stiffness of TMJ/TMD and can wear out tooth enamel, causing an uneven dental bite. An uneven bite may precipitate jaw pain, and on and on, the dysfunctional cycle goes. Arthritis in the jaw joint leads to pain and stiffness, too.

Treating TMJ/TMD

Dr. Dean and Dr. Cripe diagnose TMJ/TMD by gently feeling the jaw joints, asking you to open and close your mouth, with digital X-ray imaging, with a comprehensive oral examination and by symptomology. In other words, what you experience helps the dentist pinpoint TMJ/TMD and to determine how treatment should proceed at Beaver Creek Dental Group.

Common interventions are minimally invasive. Surgery to correct TMJ/TMD is not the first choice. Your dentist at Beavercreek Dental Group may advise:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthodontic treatment to correct dental bite
  • Dental crowns

Another important intervention is the custom-made bite guard. This acrylic device fits comfortably within the mouth and reduces the effects of painful bruxism.

You can feel better

TMJ/TMD treatment will manage your symptoms so you feel and function at your best. To arrange a consultation with Dr. Dean or Dr. Cripe, contact the office team at Bearcreek Dental Group: (937) 429-3160.

By Charles H. Dean DDS
July 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain  

Chronic jaw pain and limited jaw mobility are two common symptoms of a group of conditions known as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD or TMD). Several effective treatments have developed over the years, despite the fact that the underlying causes for TMD remain an elusive quarry for medical researchers.

But we may now have a promising new lead in understanding TMD: a possible link between it and other systemic inflammatory diseases. In recent study researchers interviewed over 1,500 people with TMD about various aspects of their lives. Nearly two-thirds reported at least three or more other inflammatory health conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic headaches or rheumatoid arthritis.

These statistics suggest a relationship between TMD and these other conditions. Further exploration of these possible links could result not only in a greater understanding of TMD but better treatment strategies for it and the other related conditions.

In the meantime, though, what can you do if you're currently dealing with TMD?

As of now the approaches with the best results continue to be conservative, non-invasive techniques we've used for several years. Thermal therapies like hot or cold compresses to the jaw area, for example, are quite effective in providing pain relief, and muscle relaxant drugs have proven beneficial for improving jaw mobility.

More radical approaches like jaw surgery have also come into prominence. But there's a caveat here: a significant number of people find their conditions don't improve or may even worsen. In the study previously mentioned, only 38% of respondents who had undergone jaw surgery saw any range of improvement (from slight to significant); by contrast, 28% indicated no change in symptoms and 46% said they were worse off.

It's important, then, that you thoroughly discuss your condition with your dentist, verifying first that you have TMD.  Together you can develop a treatment plan to relieve pain and restore jaw function. If your dentist or surgeon suggests surgery, consider seeking a second opinion before choosing this more radical approach.

Hopefully, further research into the causes and relationships of TMD with other health conditions will yield still better treatments. In the meantime, you may still find relief and improve your quality of life with the proven techniques available now.

If you would like more information on treatments for chronic jaw pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

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2385 Lakeview Dr, Suite A
Beavercreek, OH 45431
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