Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
People who suffer from symptoms such as headaches, earaches, tenderness of the jaw muscles or dull, aching facial pain may suffer from TMD-temporomandibular joint disorders. The muscles and joints may not function properly, resulting in cycles of pain and spasms. These disorders can have a variety of causes and can be treated. You may also have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Since TMD symptoms (e.g., tooth clenching or grinding, headaches, jaw pain or discomfort, clicking, grating, difficulty in closing your jaw) can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important. No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely, and treatment takes time to be effective.
Misalignment of the jaw can be treated using different devices applied by Dr. Fagan, such as a pain release splint or orthotic. Treatment is based on determining the underlying cause of the problem and correcting it. If possible, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) can help to reduce inflammation in the jaw. Muscle spasms or muscle tension may be relieved by using TENS or moist heat packs on the affected area. A diet of soft foods is recommended. Biofeedback or relaxation exercises may also be effective. Surgery of the jaw is rarely required.