TMD Treatment in Castro Valley - Chabot Dental
While seemingly unrelated, the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) plays a significant role in facilitating dental function and oral wellness. However, when this joint is compromised by stressed muscles, misalignment, and other issues, patients can find themselves facing pain due to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
Our Castro Valley dental team is committed to helping patients maintain healthy, functional smiles. By tailoring treatment to the condition of your smile, Chabot Valley dentist Dr. Larry Tabor helps suffering patients recover from TMD and regain comfortable use of their dentition.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?
The joint, also known as TMJ, serves as the connection point between the skull and mandible, facilitating jaw movement and dental function. Within the joint lies a small disc of cartilage, ensuring smooth, natural jaw movement. When any part of the joint or cartilage is damaged or deteriorates, basic jaw function is also compromised, triggering the development of symptoms commonly considered temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
While external factors such as injury to the jaw, joint, and muscles can spur the onset of joint issues, dental problems like bite misalignment and bruxism can have an equally detrimental effect on the joint, leading the development of TMD.
Identifying and Addressing TMD
While TMD may affect the jaw joint specifically, the symptoms can be far reaching, and impact patients’ quality of life. In addition to constant, aching pain near the joint and in the surrounding muscles, TMD can also trigger a number of other symptoms, including:
- Chronic Headaches
- Limited movement and locking of the jaw
- Ear pain, pressure, or ringing
- Vision Problems
Given that the TMJ is heavily involved in all dental function, TMD has a significant impact on the mouth, often leading to trouble chewing or an uncomfortable bite as well as toothaches. Bite misalignment and bruxism can also accelerate dental wear, particularly in the back molars.
In order to identify cases of TMD, our Chabot Valley dentist uses a cone beam scanner to take 3D images of a patient’s jaw and dentition. Using the resulting images, Dr. Tabor will look for abnormalities in the bite and jaw alignment as indicators of jaw dysfunction.
When it comes to treating TMD, our first goal is to alleviate pain for improved quality of life. Using the 3D images from our scan, Dr. Tabor will often create a stabilization appliance for patients to wear overnight. Similar in shape and size to an orthodontic retainer, this oral appliance pushes the jaw into a neutral position, preventing misalignment and allowing the joint to rest. For individuals experiencing more severe instances of TMD, our Chabot Valley dentist will coordinate care with our professionals in the area to ensure you receive the treatments you need.
Learn More at Chabot Dental
Dr. Tabor and his team are dedicated to helping patients find solutions that improve their overall quality of life. If you are experiencing jaw pain or inflammation, contact Castro Valley dental office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about treatment options for temporomandibular joint dysfunction.