TMJ and TMD are often used interchangeably to describe disorders of the jaw joint. TMJ refers to the anatomical temporomandibular joint. TMD is the correct term that refers to temporomandibular disorder. TMD is a broad term describing pain or tenderness of the joint and/or associated muscles that control jaw movement.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD include:
Causes of TMD:
Occlusal Analysis and Equilibration
By examining your TMJ (jaw joint) and the way your teeth come together when you bite, Dr. Monteiro can determine if you may benefit from an occlusal adjustment. To alleviate the symptoms of TMD and prevent further progression of the damage, Dr. Monteiro can adjust or “equilibrate” the bite. This is done by recontouring the teeth to remove interferences that are preventing the jaw from closing properly, and from the teeth fitting together correctly. The result is that the jaw can go into the correct position and the muscles in the jaw, face, and neck can relax.
Occlusal Guards and Night Guards
The first line treatment for TMD is an occlusal guard. An occlusal guard is a prescription-only, custom-made, hard acrylic appliance that not only fits your teeth precisely, but also fits and modifies your bite to reduce the stress placed on the TMJ’s. The guard is typically worn at nighttime only, and also protects your teeth from clenching and grinding. Most people experience relief from an occlusal guard. If the guard does not relieve the TMD pain, further evaluation and treatment may be necessary.