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At Waterstone Family Dentistry, we provide treatment to those suffering from pain and discomfort due to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMD. Most people know this as TMJ, but TMJ refers to just the joint that connects the lower jaw to the face or skull. It is not an actual condition.
Common symptoms that are witnessed in patients with TMD include pain, soreness, muscle stiffness, difficulty opening wide and clicking or popping on opening. These symptoms can arise when someone clenches or grinds their teeth, when they suffer from trauma to the face, when they have worn teeth, when they have bite abnormalities and when they have arthritis or another condition that stiffens the joint. And people who wear hard, stiff helmets for extended periods of time can also exhibit symptoms.
Recommendations for relief of TMD pain and soreness include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Ice packs
- Massage of the joint and facial muscles
- Avoiding anything that can inflame the joint and facial muscles such as gum chewing
- Fabrication of a custom-fit bit splint or occlusal guard to protect the teeth from grinding and clenching
But when these remedies do not provide relief, we can use a Dental Laser for treatment. This technique is known as Photobiomodulation or PBM. PBM works by:
- Emitting light energy to relieve pain, relax the muscles and jaw joint, decrease inflammation and speed healing.
- It is non-invasive, as the laser is positioned on the face at the TMJ trigger points.
- Treatments are brief, lasting ten minutes per session.
- Patients experience substantial pain relief after four to five sessions of treatment.
If you have questions about options for jaw joint discomfort, call us today.