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Temporomandibular joint disorders are considered to be a sub-classification of musculoskeletal disorders and follow some of the same principles as other joints in the body. The temporomandibular joint is responsible for all the movements of the jaw – chewing, swallowing, breathing and talking– making this one of the most used joints in the body. Injury, cartilage damage, degeneration and arthritis in this joint can lead to pain and dysfunction.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TMJ/TMD
There are several potential causes for TMJ including trauma to the face or neck in the past. Clenching and grinding the teeth may overload the joints or muscles and trigger pain or damage. Allergies, enlarged tonsils, or uneven jaw growth as a child can lead to TMJ and sleep breathing disorders later in life.
Due to the variety of causes, symptoms can change over time or even completely disappear. Good first steps include anti-inflammatory medication, rest, and ice or moist heat. If you don’t get relief from these measures in a few weeks, we are here for you to assess what might be occurring and offer treatment.
When evaluation indicates TMD, Dr. Thurman begins with conservative and reversible treatment using removable orthotic appliances. These appliances may fit on the upper or lower teeth according to each individual’s need for treatment. Correction includes decreased pressure on joint, muscular pain treatment and proper alignment of joint so healing can occur. Long term options are re-assessed to maintain comfort.
I had a long overdue deep cleaning, root canal/crown, AND fillings within a month. Dr. Thurman, Morgan, Kathy and staff were very attentive and kind with not ONLY the procedures and explanations but with checking up on me after the root canal. Also great at helping me figure out my insurance coverage and payments. Dental Elements is GREAT.- Steve
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