What Are the Dangers of Untreated TMD?
When the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is fatigued or damaged, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. TMD refers to the dysfunction that affects this joint from working at its best. With Dr. Michaela Tozzi’s help, you can treat your TMD dysfunction with various treatments. She is a board-certified doctor of dental medicine who is highly-trained to diagnose and treat oral health conditions, such as TMD. After a thorough dental exam, she can create a personalized treatment plan that focuses on each patient’s oral health in Las Vegas, NV. Our TMJ specialist can observe how your jaw’s range of motion works to suggest the best possible TMJ therapy option.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is a hinge joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw. Its job is to freely slide forward to help with chewing and biting. When the muscles and joints become overworked, inflamed, or even damaged, patients in Las Vegas, NV can feel painful and uncomfortable symptoms. Sometimes TMD can be caused by mechanical issues. The TMJ has sliding parts that are separated by a shock-absorbing disc that should move smoothly. When any dysfunction occurs, the disk may erode or shift out of alignment, resulting in this locking or clicking jaw. Dr. Tozzi can help her patients to treat their jaw pain, as untreated TMD can lead to devastating results.
What are some signs of TMD?
Each patient’s symptoms will vary. However, if you’re experiencing pain in the jaw, our TMJ specialists, Dr. Tozzi, can help with TMJ therapy. Some of the most common symptoms of TMD include:
Clicking or popping in the jaw
Frequent headaches and earaches
Pain in the neck, face, ear, or jaw
Ringing in the ear
Stiff or stuck jaw
Trouble or pain while biting or chewing
When you notice any TMJ pain, it’s important to contact our professional team quickly in order to diagnose your TMD and to create a treatment plan that aims to relieve your symptoms.
Diagnosing TMD disorder
At her Las Vegas, NV office, Dr. Tozzi offers TMJ evaluation visits to learn about each patient’s symptoms and medical history. She observes the range of motion of the jaw and listens to the sounds the jaw makes when you open and close your mouth. Then, she will feel the jaw for any inflammation, tenderness, soreness, or painful spots. X-rays allow her to closely look at the joint. She may also request a bite analysis to decide the best treatment method for TMJ therapy.
Best TMJ therapy options
For patients with TMJ pain who suffer from teeth grinding, a night guard may help. They are custom-made to comfortably fit each patient according to their teeth and bite. Dr. Tozzi also offers BOTOX® or Dysport® injectables that relax the muscles and reduce TMD symptoms. Laser treatment can be used to treat TMD at her Las Vegas, NV office. If these treatments aren’t effective, she may recommend straightening the teeth, crowns, bridges, or a dental appliance. Some patients may be prescribed medication to relax the muscles, which reduces pain or anxiety. During TMJ therapy, follow-up appointments are important since they enable Dr. Tozzi to check the results from the chosen treatment.
What happens if TMD is left untreated?
When TMD is left untreated, symptoms may become more severe. Those who continuously grind or clench their teeth can experience vertigo, tinnitus, or balance issues. Sleep can also be interrupted from tooth grinding and cause serious damage to the TMJ that requires surgery. Sleep disturbances have led to an increase in depression and anxiety too. This makes it increasingly important to treat TMD as soon as possible before it affects a patient’s overall health entirely.
Learn more about TMJ therapy
If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, earaches, or clicking in the jaw, it’s important to schedule a consultation with TMJ specialist, Dr. Michaela Tozzi. TMD can be debilitating when it is left untreated and lead to other serious health problems. Dr. Tozzi provides TMJ therapy options for patients of all ages in her Las Vegas, NV office. To learn more about how to treat your TMD, call our professional team today to schedule an important TMJ evaluation visit.