What is TMD?

TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder, and references a few different conditions that affect the TMJ (temporalmandibular joint) jaw muscles, and face.

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are your jaw muscles and joints that make it possible for you to open and close your mouth. They allow you to chew, speak, and swallow. There is a disk between the ball and socket of each TMJ. This disk allows the jaw to open widely, rotate, and glide. Problems that disrupt these muscles, ligaments, disks, and bones from working correctly can result in a TMD disorder. Dr. Sean Kennelly is pleased to treat disorders with the TMJ in Centennial, Colorado.

Almost everyone has some level of tooth wear. Teeth are designed to wear and we use them in harsh conditions. Many of us will experience joint or muscle pain at some point and we have options to help. Typically these symptoms are a result of a habit we aren’t aware of because we are either asleep, or subconsciously doing something to irritate the areas involved.

There are several ways to treat TMD disorders, including:

  • Bite analysis
  • Night guard – to prevent clenching or grinding of your teeth
  • Bite balancing (equilibration)
  • Eating soft foods
  • Stopping chewing gum and biting nails
  • Treating the pain with heat packs
  • Performing relaxation exercises to control jaw tension
  • Medications (like muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-inflammatory medications) as prescribed by your dentist

Teeth grinding, the most common cause of TMD, can be treated using a night guard in conjunction with some of the above. Our dentist will custom make a night guard with the use of an impression of your teeth. You will wear the night guard while you sleep to protect your teeth and jaw from the effects of teeth grinding.

We encourage you to contact our dental office today to learn more about TMD treatment and to schedule your next appointment!