Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is when the muscles in the jaw–the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)–experience excessive stress, resulting in headaches, pain in the jaw, and difficulty chewing and talking. This can be incredibly uncomfortable, leaving people to wonder which way to turn for relief. Luckily, Drs. Harvey and Thomas provide TMD treatment in Mobile, Brewton, and Saraland, AL.
What Is TMD?
The TMJ connects the jaw bone to the skull and acts as a sliding mechanism when moving. When this joint experiences excessive strain, this leads to terrible pain. The pain caused by TMD can be from any number of issues, such as:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- An injury to the jaw, neck, or face
However, it is also surmised that genes, life and mental stresses, and how someone copes with pain can play a part in TMD. It is also more common in women than it is in men.
If you are experiencing headaches or jaw pain in the temporal region, contact Harvey & Thomas Orthodontics today to schedule a free consultation.
How Do You Know If You Have TMD/TMJ?
To find out if you have TMD, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists. Your headaches and jaw pain could be caused by a variety of causes, some of which might be caused by other orthodontic problems. That’s why visiting our office is the best option; either way, we can offer you a solution. Until your consultation, there are a few indicators you can look for to see if you have TMD, including:
- You’re experiencing pain in the jaw/ jaw joint when you chew.
- You’re experiencing pain in your face and neck.
- Your jaw is stiff.
- Your jaw makes a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth.
- You have headaches focused on the temporal lobes.
- Your upper and lower jaw feel different in how they come together.
While these could be signs of something else, having one or more of these symptoms could be a sign of TMD. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Treating TMJ Symptoms
The first solution we will consider for resolving TMJ symptoms is to check that the upper and lower jaws are properly aligned. With a bite simulator, we can check to see your jaw’s ideal alignment and offer your orthodontic treatment options to correct this.
You may also be recommended to use a bite guard in cases where bruxism is causing the symptoms. This can help to prevent teeth grinding, which can worsen symptoms and increase jaw pain and headaches.
Some orthodontists may also recommend medications such as muscle relaxants, tricyclic antidepressants, and anti-inflammatories to relieve tension and pain. In some cases, orthodontists may even recommend jaw surgery. The best way to determine the right treatment for you is by speaking with Drs. Harvey and Thomas. That’s why we offer free consultations for TMD treatment in Mobile, Brewton, and Saraland, AL.
What Is Interceptive Orthodontics?
Interceptive orthodontic treatment addresses bite malocclusions, severe crowding, and other issues that occur during your child’s early development. The goal of phase 1 orthodontics is to monitor your child’s teeth and jaw and fix potential conditions before they become more significant problems. We may use tools like gentle expanders, partial braces, or other appliances to guide your child’s smile.
Many parents are surprised to learn that they should take their child to visit an orthodontist by age 7. By this point, your child has enough adult teeth for an orthodontist to monitor the development of their teeth and jaw. While most kids may not need early treatment, checking their development now could save you time and money later on!
We specialize in phase 1 orthodontics and are passionate about creating healthy and happy smiles for children. Request your free consultation today!
The Benefits Of Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment
One of the biggest benefits of early treatment is that younger teeth are more flexible, which means we can intercept problems before they arise. Here are some other perks of phase 1 orthodontics:
- Proper tooth and jaw development
- Decreased risk of oral injuries and speech problems
- A better foundation for emerging adult teeth
- Prevention of future dental problems and costly procedures
Common Types Of Early Orthodontic Treatment
If your child is developing gapped teeth, crooked and crowded teeth, an overbite, or an underbite, it’s a good idea to take them to see an orthodontist. Your orthodontist will be able to tell you whether your child would benefit from interceptive orthodontic treatment.
We use several types of appliances to correct bite malocclusions in children. For kids with narrow dental arches, a very gentle palate expander can be helpful to reduce crowding during adult tooth eruption. An expander may decrease the need for extractions. Partial braces treatment may also prove beneficial to intercept dental problems.
Find Out If Phase 1 Orthodontics Is Right For Your Child
While most children will not need interceptive orthodontic treatment, your kid may benefit from getting phase 1 orthodontics. With the help of an experienced orthodontist, your child can enjoy fuller and healthier smiles for life!
If you’re looking for the best interceptive orthodontic treatment in Mobile, Harvey & Thomas Orthodontics specializes in improving children’s smiles. Request your free consultation today!