Why Does My Jaw Hurt? Part III

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith

Welcome back, 58 Dental family. This is the last in a three part series discussing TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder). This portion of the blog will discuss the management strategies that can be provided by dental professionals.

Just to reiterate, TMD is a complex issue. As we have seen, TMD can present with different symptoms and be triggered by multiple causes. The self-management techniques presented in Part II of this series covered at-home remedies that the majority of patients find helpful.

Finally, what can dental professionals do to assist those suffering with TMD?

  • Do nothing: I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes TMD is self-limiting and self-correcting. Mild to moderate TMD can sometimes be managed by the patient, as long as they are aware of the self-management techniques.
  • Occlusal splint: Part I of the series explained how the teeth, if not appropriately positioned, can negatively affect the jaw joint. An occlusal splint does several things at once. One, the splint creates an artificial optimal occlusion. Two, the splint decreases the stress placed on the jaw joint, muscles, and teeth themselves. Three, the splint allows the jaw to move unhindered. These points are especially important if a patient grinds or clenches their teeth.
  • Occlusal adjustment: The complexity of an occlusal adjustment can vary greatly. Depending on the extent of the malpositioned teeth, the procedure can range from an adjustment on one tooth to the entire dentition. In some instances, orthodontics (braces) is necessary to correct the occlusion.
  • Chiropractor/Acupuncturist: Some patients find relief from therapies provided by a chiropractor or acupuncturist. Studies are limited and conflicted regarding these modalities, but if it works for you, then excellent.
  • Injections: Botox can be used to decrease the contraction strength of the muscles associated with the jaw. This can provide relief, especially in patients who clench or grind their teeth.
  • Surgery: There are multiple surgeries with varying levels of complexity and risk associated with them. In short, joint surgery can consist of micro-surgery, in which the joint fluids are replaced. The other end of the spectrum consists of total jaw joint replacement. The bottom line is that surgery should only be recommended as a treatment of last resort.

Wow, a three part series! To be honest, this series has only just scratched the surface of TMD and its treatment. My hope is that this series has given you, the patient, a solid foundation in understanding TMD and the potential treatments.

As always, if you or someone you know suffers from TMD, please do not hesitate to contact 58 Dental for a comprehensive evaluation to determine the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Kyle Griffith DMD
7090 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO. 80224
313-758-5252
www.58dental.com
info@58dental.com

Top 3 Ways Diet Affects Your Teeth

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith How does my diet affect my teeth? Most dental patients are surprised to learn that their diet has the potential to play a major role in their oral health. Yes, most of us have heard the phrase, "sugar is...

Sarcoidosis

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith It's weird how things pop up in life. It sometimes seems like things are clustered together. At any rate, a series of unfortunate events led to me writing this specific blog. My mom just recently texted...

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Children

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can strike at any age. While it is startling to discover that an adult patient may not be breathing well at night, it is very upsetting to see children that are affected. While...

Invisalign®

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Invisalign® is known to most people as clear braces. With today's technology, you can have a beautiful smile without the need for traditional metal braces and wires. Many traditional orthodontic...

What Your Orthodontist Might Not Be Telling You

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith All too often, I see patients who have previously undergone orthodontics (braces) but have stopped using their retainers. These patients have inevitably experienced some level of relapse, meaning their teeth...

Ortho Retainers

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Once a patient has completed orthodontics (braces), retainers are worn to keep the teeth in their healthy, aesthetic, final position. Make no mistake: If retention of some form is not worn, the teeth will move...

Your Mouth Matters (Part 1)

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith The discussions I have with my patients about how much their mouths matter are ongoing. The mouth is important for obvious reasons, but it also matters when it comes to your entire body. Don't forget that...

What?? The Decay Vanished??

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith A few months ago one of our patients was in to see us, and from looking at her x-rays, we saw the beginning signs of decay on 5 teeth. Needless to say, this was disturbing news. It could eventually involve...

Why Does My Jaw Hurt? Part II

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Welcome back, 58 Dental family. This is a continuation of the previous blog on TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder). In this blog, we will cover at-home self-management techniques that are very useful to those...

Why Does My Jaw Hurt? Part I

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Over the course of a few months, I have seen multiple patients who have complained of discomfort or pain in the jaw and/or head and neck region. The majority of these patients know that they have TMD...

Skin Cancer At The Dentist’s Office

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith I start off every comprehensive examination by saying, "I'm not your dermatologist but I see a lot of people and I am just keeping an eye out for you." I then examine a patient's scalp,...

Learning Through Relationship

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Recently, one of my patients raved about how much she trusts us when she comes in for a dental visit. She's not alone; she is joined by so many who feel the same way. Our patients rely heavily on our...

Head and Neck Cancer

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith 58 Dental stands ready to assist our patients who have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer and are preparing to undergo radiation therapy. We understand the gravity of the diagnosis and will do anything we...

Thoughts on E-Cigarettes

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We have all heard this line from Charles Dickens', A Tale of Two Cities. This seems to be the theme for the current explosion of alternative tobacco...

Dry, Parched Mouth?

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith Just yesterday, my patient asked what she could do to overcome the dry feeling she has in her mouth. Going over her health history, together we agreed that her medications are definitely contributing to the...

Hygienist’s Blog

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith   Welcome to the hygienist's blog at 58 Dental. This is where you will learn more about our dental office and the many conversations we have with our patients concerning their dental care and...

Why Does 58 Dental Exist?

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith To change the face of dentistry by keeping our patients healthy for a dental lifetime. It's because of you, our patients, friends, and the 58 Dental family that we are here.  Our team leads a...

Osteoporosis and Your Dentist

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith An estimated 24 million prescriptions for the family of medications known as bisphosphonates (BP) are written per year in the U.S. alone. BPs are used to treat osteopenia, osteoporosis, and some forms of...

Professional Athletic Mouthguard

Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith I did not believe it; I couldn't believe it! Yet, UnderArmour and BiteTech laboratory have created a mouthguard for contact sports that actually enhances an athlete's performance. As soon as I...
Page: 12345 - All
Tony F
If you are serious about your oral care and want a team that cares about your health, gives you the best dentistry, and the most up to date technology I would strongly recommend 58 Dental. Their work is impeccable and has in each case stood the test of time for me. Tony F.
We Take Pride in Our 5-Star Service
We want every patient to have a 5-star experience, every time. With that in mind, our team always goes the extra mile, not just for you, but for your health.