Temporo-mandibular dysfunction, commonly known as TMD or TMJ, refers to damage or inflammation of the jaw joints or muscles. In turn, these complications can affect chewing and speaking. TMD can also cause significant pain if it is not treated at an early stage. In addition to being trained by two legends of occlusion, Dr. Stephen C. Ura extended his studies at Dawson Academy and Spear Education. With his extensive training, he can accurately diagnose and treat TMJ dysfunction. At our Nashua, NH, practice, we offer oral appliances and manual manipulation as common treatment methods. If you are experiencing the symptoms of TMD, we can provide timely and lasting relief from your discomfort.
What Is TMD Dysfunction?
TMD can arise for a variety of reasons. Very often, symptoms develop because the soft discs that cushion the joints slip out of place. Alternatively, you could suffer significant inflammation in the surrounding muscles and ligaments. These various types of damage may be the result of physical trauma, such as a blow to the face or whiplash. More commonly, however, TMD arises because your jaw or teeth are misaligned. In turn, your joints and muscles will come under a significant amount of tension and pressure.
Dr. Ura will design an individualized treatment plan based on your health needs and preferences. He will also monitor your progress, ensuring complete and long-term relief.
The Symptoms of TMD
Whatever the particular cause of your joint dysfunction, symptoms are fairly similar for all patients. Not surprisingly, jaw pain is one of the most common signs of TMD. It could be localized or radiating, and typically it will worsen with movement. In many cases, it will spread to your neck or upper back, and you could experience chronic headaches. Other symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:
- Stiff and painful jaw
- Problems opening or closing your mouth all the way
- Ear pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Popping or clicking with jaw movement
- Facial swelling and tenderness
Relieving Your Symptoms
The right treatment for your TMD will depend largely on the cause of your condition. However, oral appliances are one of the most common ways to initially address the disorder. Your customized appliance will reduce the stresses caused by your teeth and allow the muscles and joint to heal.
Dr. Ura may also recommend physical therapy or manual manipulation of your jaw and muscles. Frequently, these treatments can be very helpful in conjunction with an oral appliance. Certain exercises and massages can restore normal joint movement and reduce inflammation. We can also teach you lifestyle changes, such as improved posture or dietary changes that will lessen the stress on the system. Simultaneously, medications can reduce inflammation and accompanying discomfort. Finally, once your condition is diagnosed and relieved with appliance therapy, restorative dentistry can be a key part of TMD treatment. If you have missing or damaged teeth that affects the force of your bite, our crowns, bridges, and implants can redistribute force across your dental arches.
With early intervention, Dr. Ura can diagnose TMD in the early stages before you experience severe long-term damage. Then he will design an individualized treatment plan based on your health needs and preferences. He will also monitor your progress, ensuring complete and long-term relief.
Schedule an Evaluation
If you believe that you may be suffering from TMD dysfunction, we can provide a thorough examination to confirm the cause of your symptoms. Contact our office to book a consultation with Dr. Ura.