Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, TN
- Have you dealt with unexplained symptoms such as facial or jaw pain, headaches, backaches, ringing in your ears or something else?
- Has the doctor passed you off because there seems to be no real underlying problem or masking your pain with medication only pacifies you?
If so, consider a consultation with one of the Greeneville neuromuscular dentists on staff at Tusculum Dental Care. You could suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (also referred to as TMJ or TMD), which may be what is causing your chronic pain or discomfort. TMD is commonly misdiagnosed or overlooked by healthcare physicians because they simply are not trained in the principles of neuromuscular dentistry.
If you are searching for relief from TMD, a neuromuscular dentist is the best-qualified professional to diagnose and treat this condition and its symptoms. Here on this page, we have provided you with information regarding TMD and the history of neuromuscular dentistry so that you can make the best decision regarding your health.
What is TMD?
TMD is a condition in which the jaw is not functioning in harmony with the surrounding hard and soft tissues. The muscles become strained from trying to pull the jaw into proper alignment, which causes stress, inflammation, and pain in the jaw joints, affecting the nerves as well. You may think TMD only flares up when eating or chewing, but your jaw muscles are actually under consistent stress, even when your mouth seems at rest or while you sleep.
That is not all. There are many nerves and blood vessels that are also impacted by TMD, specifically the trigeminal nerve, one of the most significant sensory pathways in the body. It is often associated with being the culprit of migraine headaches. Although certain prescription medications can be helpful in relieving pain from migraine headaches, it does not stop the frequency to which they occur.
When the trigeminal nerve is irritated by tension or inflammation of the jaw joints, it sends pain signals to the brain. It is common for pain to radiate to extremities such as the arms, hands, and even the legs. With time, the pain worsens and becomes more frequent, leading to chronic pain.
What causes TMD?
It is different for each patient, but common causes of TMD include an injury to the mouth or face, missing teeth, misaligned teeth or crooked teeth, stress that leads to tension in the jaw or clenching and grinding of the teeth while sleeping (sometimes even while awake).
During your consultation at Tusculum Dental Care, our Greeneville TMD dentists will determine the cause of your TMD and may need to combine other dental procedures such as restorations or tooth replacement to help align your bite.
Risks of TMD
TMD usually results in pain in the jaw, head, or neck, and worn or damaged teeth, as well as clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joints. But, the effects of untreated TMD are far-reaching. Since the jaw muscles are designed to work in harmony with the neck muscles to hold the spine in an upright position, you may likely experience painful misaligned cervical vertebrae or even pinched nerves in your back. However, this often can result in widespread pain throughout the entire body. Unfortunately, many physicians may end up misdiagnosing this type of chronic, widespread pain as another condition, never really getting to the cause of the problem.
How a dentist treats TMD
A neuromuscular dentist has undergone specialized training focusing on finding harmony and balance among not just your teeth, but your entire mouth, head, and neck. This would include the jawbone and jaw joints, which are often the culprit of TMD and its painful symptoms. We take a holistic approach to both diagnosing and treating TMD.
At Tusculum Dental Care, our TMD dentists utilize state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to help understand and determine the necessary bite alignment to bring your jawbone, muscles, and nerves into a relaxed state. This, in turn, relieves all symptoms associated with TMD. Using this specialized equipment allows us to see the full picture and create the best solution for treating your case of TMD.
TMJ Treatment in Greeneville
We have helped many patients find relief from their TMD, and you could be one of those patients. Get back to living your life, and put an end to your TMD. To learn more about TMJ disorder or how we diagnose and treat the disorder at Tusculum Dental Care, contact our office by calling (423) 639-7575 or (423) 639-4176 to schedule a consultation.
Tusculum Dental Care welcomes patients in the areas of Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee.