If you start feeling pain in your upper or lower jaw or feel that your jaws aren’t moving together like they should, you could have a condition called TMJ or TMD. That’s an abbreviation for a disorder of the temporomandibular joint between your upper and lower jaws. When it’s not functioning right, it can cause a number of problems, starting with pain in the head, face, or neck. Dr. Boris Lipovetskiy with Advanced Dental Wellness Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida provides TMJ treatment to help relieve from jaw pain and other uncomfortable TMJ symptoms. Call to book an appointment today for fast relief from TMJ discomfort.
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The initials TMJ refer to your temporomandibular joint, the joint between your lower jaw and your upper jaw. It’s the joint that enables chewing, swallowing, and yawning. If the joint is injured, you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD often causes pain around your face, jaw, or neck. When moving your jaw up and down you might experience a click or pop, and your upper and lower jaws may also feel out of alignment when your mouth is closed.
Experts still debate over the cause of TMD. Any joint in the body could be affected by overuse or inflammation. Gender, genetics, age, and stress are also risk factors for TMD. Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching while asleep, has been associated with it. In some cases, TMD indicates a broader health issue affecting muscles and connective tissues. During his evaluation, Dr. Lipovetskiy can often identify the underlying cause, based on wear patterns and diagnostic data.
Recent research demonstrates a connection between TMD and sleep apnea. In many sleep apnea cases, a misaligned jaw joint, or TMD, is the culprit. When your teeth aren’t in alignment, your tongue can block your ability to breathe when you sleep, causing you to wake up frequently.
You aren’t well-rested if you have sleep apnea because you’re not getting enough deep sleep time. Your brain keeps sends signals for you to wake up so that you can take deep breaths and get more air. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
TMD usually responds well to nonsurgical therapies. Short-term use of cool compresses or moist heat relieves inflammation and soreness. Eating softer foods helps give overstressed joints a temporary rest. If muscles in the face and head are suffering chronic tension or spasms, stretching exercises and anti-inflammatory medications may help. Dr. Lipovetskiy may recommend a TENS unit, which produces mild electrical nerve stimulation, to help your muscles relax.
Dr. Lipovetskiy addresses your unique neuromuscular and bone structure and plans TMD treatment accordingly. CT scan diagnostic imaging shows the most accurate view of the problem area.
If your TMD with sleep apnea continues, he prescribes an oral dental appliance. You wear it only when you sleep; it fits like a retainer or a mouth guard and helps keep your airway open. Dr. Lipovetskiy also assesses the need for orthodontic care or correction, such as a crown or bridge. CT scan diagnostic imaging shows the most accurate view of the problem area.
If you have jaw pain, headaches, or other painful symptoms, contact our office online or call (954) 525-5662 to find out how we can treat TMJ issues.