TMJ/TMD Treatment in Albuquerque

What Is TMJ/TMD?

TMJ/TMD are acronyms used to refer to “temporomandibular joint disorder.” This is a painful condition that can affect the small joints that connect your jaw to each side of your skull. These joints are quite delicate, and are located just below your ears. When the temporomandibular joints are not functioning properly, this is called TMJ/TMD. 

TMJ/TMD can cause a lot of different painful symptoms. You may experience jaw pain when eating or biting, radiating pain from your jaw, headaches, or ear pain. In some cases, you may even have trouble opening and closing your jaw, or it may “lock” in place temporarily. You may also hear clicking and popping noises when you open or close your jaw. 

If you think you have TMJ/TMD in Albuquerque, Dr. Becky Chiem is here to help. Contact us now to schedule an appointment at Coronado Family Dental, and get the expert care you need to resolve your condition. Don't hesitate to stop by our office located at 11130 Lomas Blvd NE Suite F2, Albuquerque, NM 87112.

TMJ Treatment Albuquerque

Did you know…

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About 12% of people suffer from TMJ/TMD, making it one of the most common jaw disorders in the United States.

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Common Causes & Contributing Factors For TMJ/TMD

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Jaw overuse

For example, chewing a large amount of gum for a long time or consistently eating really tough or hard-to-chew foods can put a lot of stress on the joint, resulting in TMJ/TMD.

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Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Consistent, severe, and prolonged teeth grinding is a common contributing factor to TMJ/TMD. Constantly clenching and grinding stresses the temporomandibular joint, and can cause jaw pain.

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Joint trauma

Being struck in the face can cause TMJ/TMD if the joint is damaged and becomes inflamed. This is particularly common in people who play contact sports.

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Arthritis

Some types of arthritis and other autoimmune diseases can cause inflammation of the jaw joints, which may contribute to or cause TMJ/TMD.

Treatment Options For TMJ/TMD

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Night Guard/Occlusal Guard

A night guard, also known as an “occlusal guard,” can be very useful in treating TMJ/TMD. Also called an “occlusal splint,” nightguards for TMJ are designed to cushion your teeth and protect them from grinding, and also to move your jaw into a healthier position as you sleep, allowing it to heal. 

This treatment is particularly effective for patients who grind their teeth. An occlusal splint treats both bruxism and TMJ/TMD at once. Along with lifestyle changes like eating soft foods and physical therapy, this is a great way to treat mild to moderate cases of TMJ/TMD.

Botox

Botox is becoming more common for TMJ/TMD treatment. This is because Botox has the unique ability to paralyze the facial muscles. This is how it smooths out the skin when it’s used for cosmetic purposes. Botox paralyzes some facial muscles and causes them to relax, which eliminates wrinkles.

The same thing happens when Botox is injected into jaw muscles. It partially paralyzes them, and can provide you with relief from the pain of TMJ/TMD, particularly if you grind your teeth. Botox has been shown to help improve oral range of motion and reduce pain, and it may be a good option for you at your dentist in Albuquerque, NM.