The Blog of Dr. Firouzi Babak, D.D.S.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Friday, May 7, 2010

Questions About TMD

What is TMD and what are the causes?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a neuromuscular condition that causes pain and jaw joint dysfunction. This condition is the result of misalignment in your temporomandibular joint, which prevents this joint and the surrounding muscles from relaxing. TMD can be caused by normal wear and tear of your cartilage, arthritis, a dislocated jaw joint (often resulting from trauma), a misaligned bite caused by crooked teeth, and extreme pressure and strain caused by teeth grinding and/or jaw clenching.

What are my treatment options?

Treatment methods depend on the causes and severity, but some include:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen to treat sore muscles and reduce inflammation in your temporomandibular joint.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs): These drugs increase your body's levels of norepinephrine and serotonin (natural painkillers).
  • Muscle Relaxants: These help loosen your jaw joint and surrounding muscles.
  • Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory drugs help reduce inflammation around your jaw.
  • Bite Guards: These special orthotics are worn at night to prevent tooth grinding and jaw clenching.
  • Corrective Dental Treatment: The placement of restorations such as dental crowns can help lift teeth and better align your bite.
  • Orthodontics and Invisalign: If your teeth are crooked, moving them permanently into place by their roots can restore a healthy bite and alleviate TMD symptoms.

If you live in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and are experiencing TMD pain, please contact LVI-trained Pittsburgh neuromuscular dentist Dr. Babak Firouzi at the Center for Aesthetic Dentistry to schedule your complimentary consultation.

posted by Tiffany at 10:16 AM