TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)
Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMD) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMD is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. The vast majority of TMD sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that an Oral surgeon can effectively treat.
General Classification: Most are a combination of both
Myofascial Pain: Muscles that connect to the mandible and allow speech and chewing are overused to the point of fatigue and muscle cramping. When this is allowed to continue for prolonged periods of time it can lead to chronic ill-defined muscle pain. Often the patient suffering from this will not know that this is truely their problem. An examination by Dr. Gray can elucidate the source of your pain and determine what your cause might be.
Actual Tempormandibular Joint pain: The TMJ is a complicated joint in that it has two joint spaces, undergoes translation and rotation in the same compartment and all movements of one joint are translated to some degree or another to the opposite joint. Popping, clicking, and grinding are often found in painful joints but also may be present in asymptomatic joints. Again an examination is really needed to determine the extent of your joint dysfunction and subsequent treatment. X-rays or an MRI may be needed to further evaluate your joints.
The symptoms of TMD are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well being of the patient is at the heart of Dr. Gray's practice, so pain relief is the first consideration. Dr. Gray is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.
TMD sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.The underlying goal is to correct whatever the source of your pain is to lead to long lasting relief.
What does treating TMJ involve?
First the correct diagnosis must be made: This may be established with diagnostic numbing blocks or X-rays, MRI ect. Once this is done therapy for your disorder can be provided to begin to improve your symptoms. Some therapeutic regimens include:
Medical Therapy: This generally consists of muscle relaxants, NSAIDs(motrin, alleive, Indomethacin), Occlusal guards and other modalities. It often is accompanied by specific recommendations regarding eating, chewing gum, massages and other recommended physical therapy.
Surgical Therapy: This comes in many flavors and can range from Arthocentesis, arthroscopy, Open joint surgery, and lastly total joint replacement. Effort is made to avoid surgery if possible, but sometimes may be unavoidable.