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TMJ Disorder (TMD) in Wheat Ridge

TMD or temporomandibular disorder is when a patient experiences problems with either their jaw, jaw joint (TMJ), facial muscles or in most cases, all of the above.

Physical symptoms of TMD include:

  • Clicking and popping of the jaw
  • Achiness of a jaw joint
  • Headaches or even migraines that are usually more pronounced in the morning

The most common causes for TMD are grinding and clenching of the jaw, mainly in response to stress. These activities overwork the joint and the joint lubrication ability becomes significantly diminished. Without lubrication, the actual joints start rubbing against each other and wear each other down. TMJ-jaw joints are like any other joints in our body, they can only take a certain “normal” amount of wear and tear. When this stage occurs, the damage is irreversible.

There are different therapies for treating TMD, and the most common one is a night guard. This device is similar to a retainer but it is specifically made for individuals with TMD. It pushes the jaw into a resting position and minimizes the pressure and wear to the temporomandibular joint, preventing damage.

By diagnosing TMD early, a simple device can prevent a patient’s condition from becoming irreversible. However, if left untreated over a long term, we might recommend a more severe treatment like jaw surgery.

Written By: Dr. Ngo