Do you suffer from recurrent headaches that have no apparent cause?
Do you often wake with ear, neck or facial pain?
Many people suffer with the symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) unknowingly and don’t think to mention these symptoms to their dentist as they are not those we typically associate with a dental health problem.
Dr. V. Lynn Morgan, DDS, has over 25 years of experience treating patients who suffer from TMD, also commonly referred to as TMJ (the name of the joint). While there are several typical signs and symptoms of TMD, many tend to go undiagnosed until a related dental health issue surfaces such as gum disease or broken teeth. It is important to mention frequent headaches, earaches and neck or facial pain when visiting Dr. Morgan for preventive care so that she and her staff can examine the entire occlusal system to determine if there is an imbalance in the bite – the major contributing factor to TMD.
Signs and symptoms of TMD/TMJ:
- Noises in the TMJ, popping, clicking or grating
- Difficulty opening or “locked” jaw
- Frequent headaches or migraines.
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Tired sensation after exercising the TMJ as in eating, chewing or speaking
One of the most common signs of TMD is teeth grinding, which may also go unnoticed because it usually occurs during sleep. Teeth grinding and/or clenching, known as Bruxism, can lead to dental problems such as gum disease and tooth damage. It can also be the cause of those frequent aches and pain due to the pressure put on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) during teeth grinding.
Dr. Morgan will evaluate each patient on an individual basis when it comes to developing a treatment plan for TMD and always seeks to begin with the most conservative options. For patients with TMD, Dr. Morgan will frequently prescribe the use of a custom fit mouth guard. The mouth guard is typically worn at night to reduce the stress placed on the TMJ during teeth grinding as well as protect the teeth from possible damage. When successful, this can greatly reduce the headache and other radiating pain symptoms that can often be disruptive to a patient’s daily life.
If you think you maybe be suffering with a TMD, contact Dr. Morgan at her Severna Park dental practice to schedule a consultation and discuss your treatment options.