As a prosthodontist, Dr. Andrew Bock specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating a variety of disorders associated with the mouth, face, jaw, and teeth (maxillofacial structures), including the temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
One of the most common problems that affects the TMJs is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a blanket term that refers to a variety of issues related to the temporomandibular joints that cause similar symptoms.
Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Jaw pain and soreness
- Face, neck, and shoulder pain
- Frequent headaches and/or migraines
- Sore or sensitive teeth
- Stiffness in the jaw muscles
- Grinding, popping, or clicking in the jaw joints
- Bruxism (grinding teeth and/or clenching the jaw)
The symptoms of TMD can vary greatly in terms of their severity, ranging from mild to debilitating.
Causes of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The cause of temporomandibular joint disorder tends to vary from patient to patient, and it can be quite complex with several different factors contributing to the symptoms and condition at once.
Common causes of TMD or factors that contribute to TMD symptoms include:
- Malocclusion (improper bite)
- Crooked teeth
- Maxillofacial anatomy
- Injury to the jaw, head, or neck
- Excessive stress or strain on the temporomandibular joints
- Idiopathic condylar resorption
To determine the underlying factors that are causing a patient’s TMD symptoms, we use thorough diagnostic imaging with a CBCT scanner and a comprehensive dental examination. This enables Dr. Bock to thoroughly evaluate a patient’s anatomy, maxillofacial structures, and wear patterns on their teeth to pinpoint the cause or causes of their issues.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment at NCPD
Treatment for TMD depends on the underlying cause of the condition in the patient. Sometimes, a patient can be effectively treated with lifestyle adjustments designed to reduce the stress placed on the temporomandibular joints. Other times, patients require braces or other dental devices to correct misaligned teeth or jawbones. In rare cases, a patient might require surgery to successfully treat the underlying cause of their TMD.
At NCPD, we are able to successfully address many cases of TMD with the use of custom-designed nightguards that help to realign a patient’s jawbones, prevent clenching, and protect the teeth from grinding while the patient sleeps.
Schedule a TMJ Consultation in Loveland, Colorado
If you’ve been suffering from symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder or another type of joint discomfort, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Bock at Northern Colorado Prosthetic Dentistry.
Dr. Bock can closely evaluate your jawbone, joints, and maxillofacial structures with a physical examination and the use of our CBCT scanner. With these diagnostic images, he can pinpoint the cause of your concerns and provide you with a recommended treatment plan to help mitigate your symptoms and directly address the underlying causes of your TMJ issues. To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our prosthetic dentistry office in Loveland, Colorado today.