TMD - Jaw Tenderness Service at North West Dental in Christchurch

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)

If you are experiencing regular headaches, earaches, throbbing facial pain or a sore jaw that makes a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth- these pains may be linked to problems with the muscles of the jaw or the joint itself, the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).

 

Problems with the jaw and muscles that control the joint are known as temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD).

 

Symptoms of TMD may include:

 

  • Tenderness/pain in the jaw, face or in and around the ear.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw.
  • Difficulty chewing and biting.
  •  The feeling of ‘locked’ or ‘stuck’ jaw joints.

 

What causes TMD?

It may be associated with:

 

  • Injury to the jaw or head.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching.
  • Diseases such as arthritis- which affects the joints.
  • Stress- which can cause people to tighten/clench the jaw muscles.

 

Non-surgical treatment options:

 

  • Avoid foods that overwork the jaw muscles; instead, try to eat softer foods.
  • Try to eliminate and decrease pain with heat or ice packs or by taking medication to reduce inflammation.
  • Learn and begin practising relaxation techniques to help control tension in the jaw.
  • Wear a night guard or splint to reduce the damaging effects of clenching and grinding.

 

Surgical Treatment:

If TMD cannot be managed successfully by non-surgical treatments, surgery may be considered. A qualified surgeon will be able to determine the appropriate treatment needed to achieve the best outcome for you.

 

If you have any queries or want to book an appointment, please email us at reception@nwdental.co.nz or call us on 03 359 8300 to see one of our experienced team members.