Chronic facial pain that has no clear physical connection to trauma or disease can often be associated with temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. This loosely associated group of maladies is tied to problems with the temporomandibular joint. Many physicians who are not specially trained to treat your facial pain may simply prescribe pain medication. A neuromuscular dentist, however, is trained to diagnose and treat any of the causes of TMD to help permanently relieve facial pain, jaw, neck and shoulder pain.
There is no one cause of TMD, but the underlying problem is a misalignment of one or possibly both sides of your jaw. The jaw joints are meant to work in unison; if one side is out of alignment, a chain reaction can be caused leading to inflammation and various other problems. Some causes of TMD include:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Once the underlying cause is determined, fixing the underlying cause of the problem treats the disorder. If you are missing teeth on one side of your mouth and it is causing your bite to be off, a dental implant, or instant orthodontics may be used to straighten things out again. Bruxism and stress that causes you to constantly clench your teeth or set your jaw can be relaxed with physical therapy or dental appliances in order to reduce the stress on the TMJ.
Chronic facial pain sufferers should seek an experienced neurological dentist for a consultation even if the facial pain does not seem to be related to TMD. Only a trained TMD physician is able to pinpoint and accurately treat TMD. Please contact the TMD specialists at Rochester Advanced Dentistry today to find out more about your TMD treatment options.