TMD (temporomandibular disorder or TMJ disorder) and facial pain have multiple symptoms, including facial pain, difficulty of opening mouth, joint clicking, difficulty with chewing food, etc. TMD affects up to 15% of adults and significantly affects patients’ quality of life.
At Bucks Dental Health and Esthetics, multiple specialists work as a team to offer interdisciplinary treatment for TMD and facial pain.
Hai Qing, DMD, has extensive experience treating TMD from the point of occlusion, including bite adjustment, TMD emergency treatment, full-mouth occlusal rehabilitation, occlusal biting plate etc.
Chizobam Idahosa, DDS is a specialist in oral medicine. She has extensive experience treating TMD/facial pain using a medical model and a conservative approach from an oral medicine point of view.
TMD/Facial Pain Q & A
What Are the Symptoms of TMD/Facial Pain?
- Pain of your TMJ or facial area which can happen on one side or both sides
- Aching pain in and around your ear, neck, or head
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Limited mouth opening or other movement
- Clicking joint or grating sensation
What Causes TMD/Facial Pain?
The etiology of TMD/facial pain can be multifactorial from local TMJ issues and neurological issues, including but not limited to:
- Disc misalignment
- TMJ cartilage damaged by arthritis
- TMJ damage due to injury
- Biting issue (occlusion issue) due to missing teeth, occlusal interference, grinding or clenching teeth etc.
- Poor posture such as forward head position
- Psychosocial factors such as emotional stress, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders
- Systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Neuromuscular disease, like fibromyalgia etc.
Dental treatment associated with post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathic pain include:
- Root canal treatment
- Other surgical procedures
How should I take care of my TMD/facial pain?
Treatment of TMD/facial pain depends on the diagnosis or findings of intraoral and extraoral examination and patients’ medical history. Treatment includes non-invasive or conservative therapies which are usually used at first-line treatment, including patient education, cognitive behavior therapy, pharmacotherapy (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, antidepressant, and anxiolytic medications), physical therapy, and occlusal therapy. Surgical interventions are reserved after a trial of conservative therapy fails to improve the symptoms in patients with moderate to severe pain with significant effect on their quality of life.
The following image shows the occlusal device designed by Dr. Qing to successfully treat a patient’s TMD due to disc derangement disorders.