TMD / TMJ Treatment – Fort Worth, TX
Stop Chronic Facial Pain & Headaches
The ability of your body to move is largely based on the health of your joints, and one joint that’s extremely important but rarely gets a lot of thought is the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. This is the small set of hinges that enables your lower jaw to move fluidly in all directions. Like other joints in the body, it can sometimes develop dysfunction and pain, and at our dental office, Mitch Conditt, DDS is dedicated to helping patients overcome these kinds of problems.
A TMJ disorder, or TMD, can easily cause a wide array of issues throughout the head, neck, and beyond, many of which seemingly have no connection to the jaw. That’s why many of our patients often come to see us after multiple doctors haven’t been able to help them. By getting to the root of the issue, Dr. Conditt is able to provide the answers and treatments patients need to get back to their normal lives free from chronic pain.
What is TMD/TMJ?
The TMJ is the joint itself, and when it develops any type of issue, this is called a TMJ disorder, or TMD. This can be due to a wide variety of reasons, but the most common tend to be strain, injury to the joint, nocturnal teeth grinding (bruxism), or a misaligned bite. All of these can lead to the joint becoming dysfunctional or experiencing more pressure than it’s designed to handle, which can lead to tension, pain, and eventually a breakdown of the joint altogether.
Signs & Symptoms
The most common signs of a TMD are:
- Pain and stiffness in the jaw
- Pain and tension in the face
- Teeth grinding
- A jaw that pops and clicks all of the time
- Jaw becoming “stuck” while opening or closing
- Chronic headaches/migraines
- Frequent earaches
- Soreness in the neck and shoulders
- Back pain
Because your body is one interconnected system, tension in the jaw muscles can easily radiate to the head and neck and further down the spine. TMD is actually one of the most common causes of persistent headaches and migraines, but most doctors miss this because they are unaware of how they can be associated with problems in the jaw.
The main key to addressing TMD is to figure out what is causing the pain in the first place. Is the joint misaligned? Strained? Has it suffered an injury? Getting to the root of the issue can help Dr. Conditt determine which treatment would be best. He can accomplish this by testing the mobility of the jaw and taking X-rays of the joint so he can examine the interlocking bones, muscles, and ligaments directly.
Fortunately, TMD can often be effectively treated using conservative and easily reversible methods. For minor cases, a patient may simply need to apply heat or cold to their face temporarily or take a few moments each day to stretch their jaw muscles. Or, if someone requires more involved care, Dr. Conditt can provide custom-made splints that are specially-designed to rebalance the bite and relieve pain long-term.