TMD/ Occlusal Disease

The dentists at Wickham Dental Practice have undergone specific education and training to be able to spot TMD and Occlusal early and give you the best chance of reducing its effects and having a mouth full of healthy teeth as long as possible.

TMD/ Occlusal Disease

The dentists at Wickham Dental Practice have undergone specific education and training to be able to spot TMD and Occlusal early and give you the best chance of reducing its effects and having a mouth full of healthy teeth as long as possible.

TMD is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction and is where bruxing affects the joints/muscles. This can be tied to painful muscles, or noise from the joint. Bruxism is the medical term for clenching or grinding. It is not always presented obviously but can cause pain if your temporomandibular joint and jaw muscles are not fully straight or aligned. Wear, sensitivity, cracks, loose teeth, broken teeth and painful jaw joints. These can all be signs of Occlusal Disease. In its early stages, it usually causes these symptoms which may be overlooked unless your dentist specifically suspects Occlusal Disease. It then becomes known as TMD when your joints and muscles are also affected.

We conduct an exam to explore what is causing your TMD, what the symptoms are, whether you are at risk of pain and offer a bite analysis to get all the information we need.

Treatment will commonly begin with a bite splint. This fits comfortably over your upper or lower teeth to offer a temporary perfect bite. You will get to feel what a comfortable, stable and solid bite feels like. Within a few weeks, patients with muscle tension and pain report dramatic relief of their existing pain. Occasionally, we may suggest a move or reshaping of teeth so you can experience that feeling without the need of the splint. Small adjustments or orthodontic treatment may be recommended.

Some people may find that their pain or ‘bruxing’ (clenching or grinding) continues, and additional therapy can be offered. This includes Cerezen, which reduces muscle activity and comes as an ear insert. These are available from Wickham Dental Practice. Sometimes bruxing can also be a response to stress, and so behavioural therapy or alternate therapies can also be suggested.

Be clear of the symptoms of TMD and mention anything you are suffering from to your dentist at your regular check-up.

  • You clench your jaw muscles for long periods of time.
  • When you wake up in the morning/ at the end of the day, your jaw muscles feel tired and sore to touch.
  • You experience pain behind your eyes.
  • You grind your teeth while you are sleeping.
  • Your jaw clicks and pops upon opening.
  • Your head or scalp feels painful when you touch it.
  • Your ears ache or you hear ringing.
  • You have neck, shoulder or back pain.

If these symptoms seem familiar and you would like more information, call us today.