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Posts for tag: tmj

By Papillon Dental
December 26, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj   tmj disorders   tmd  

A blow to the face can result in a variety of injuries to your jaws and the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that join the lower jaw to the skull. Only a thorough examination can determine the type and extent of the injury, and how to treat it.

The pain you feel in your jaw may indicate a direct injury, usually near the joint. This could mean the joint head (condyle) has dislocated, or moved out of the joint space. It could also mean you’ve fractured your lower jaw, most commonly just below the head of the joint.

Jaw pain can also indicate structures near the jaw and joint have been damaged and the jaw is indirectly affected. In some cases a damaged tooth may be radiating pain signals through the jaw (along similar nerve paths). More likely, trauma to soft tissue near the jaw joint has swelled with inflammation, putting pressure on the joint and temporarily stopping the condyle from seating fully in the joint space.

Any of these injuries can also cause painful muscle spasms, a defensive reaction from the body that causes muscles on either side of the jaw to limit movement preventing further damage (a natural splint, if you will). Thus, the pain may be compounded by a diminished range of motion when you try to chew or speak.

It’s important, therefore, to determine the exact cause of pain and limited movement before commencing treatment. Spasms and inflammation are usually treated with muscle relaxant drugs and anti-inflammatory pain relievers. In the case of a dislocation, gentle manipulation can ease the condyle back into the joint space. A fracture would require more extensive treatment, including repositioning broken bone and immobilizing the jaw from movement to allow healing. In the most severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to internally immobilize the joint.

If you sustain an injury that results in jaw swelling and pain, you should see us without delay. The sooner we can diagnose and begin the proper treatment for your injury, the less likely you’ll encounter long-term problems and the sooner you’ll be pain and swelling free.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of jaw pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Jaw Pain.”

By Papillon Dental
October 08, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj  

Are you hurting from headaches, ear pain, dizziness or other symptoms you cannot explain? You are not alone. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that TMJ (a nickname for temporomandibular joint dysfunction) affects about 15 percent of the population in the United States. In Upper Marlboro, MD, Dr. Felix Papillon is an expert on this jaw joint disorder, and he can treat, and help you understand, this often puzzling dental problem.

Exactly what is TMJ?

You have two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of your head at the junctions between the top and bottom jaw bones. The joints resemble hinges, but because of their disc-like condyles, or connective tissue, they can move the lower jaw from side to side as well as up and down.

When something goes awry in either or both joints due to arthritis, a blow to the face, poor dental bite or repetitive teeth clenching (bruxism), the jaw joints exhibit a variety of difficult symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Ear and/or facial pain
  • Bizarre popping or clicking noises when the jaw opens or closes
  • Shoulder, back, or neck discomforts
  • Vertigo, or dizziness
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears

Unfortunately, TMJ in Upper Marlboro, MD, can cause jaw dislocation, a serious problem which needs immediate attention at the nearest hospital emergency room.

What you can do

If you suspect you have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, please come to Papillon Dental for a full oral evaluation.
A typical exam for TMJ includes inspection of teeth and gums (particularly for dental bite and signs of uneven wear) as well as digital X-ray imaging and oral impressions. From there, the dentist can formulate a treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms.

Typical treatments for TMJ include:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Muscle relaxants or analgesics
  • Crowns or orthodontics to even dental bite
  • Diet modifications (soft foods)
  • A customized acrylic bite guard to cushion your teeth if you have bruxism

Feel better

And, have better oral health. If you struggle with jaw joint symptoms, find the help you deserve at Papillon Dental in Upper Marlboro, MD. TMJ can be treated successfully. Call the friendly office team today to arrange a consultation with Dr. Papillon: (301) 773-5700.

By Papillon Dental
December 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj  

What your dentist in Upper Marlboro, Maryland wants you to know.jaw pain

Jaw pain can be excruciating! It can keep you from enjoying the foods you love because all you can think about is the pain you will experience when you eat. Fortunately there are effective treatments for jaw pain, but first, you need to figure out what is causing your jaw pain. Dr. Felix Papillon at Papillon Dental Care in Upper Marlboro, Maryland wants to share the facts about jaw pain and its treatment.

So, what is causing your jaw pain? The most common answer is temporomandibular joint issues. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a unique joint that has a sliding motion and works to open and close your jaws. It can also shift out of place, causing friction, swelling and inflammation. Inflammatory changes can cause tightness, movement restriction and pain. The pain may also be accompanied by clicking, popping or locking when you open and close your jaws.

Chronic TMJ problems lead to a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Dr. Papillon may suggest these effective treatments for TMJ pain or TMD:

  • Application of moist heat or ice
  • Custom-made splints to wear at night
  • Cortisone injections into the joint
  • Physical therapy exercises and stretching
  • Prescription anti-inflammatories, pain medications or muscle relaxants

Another simple explanation of why you might have jaw pain is if you grind or clench your teeth at night. When you grind your teeth at night, it stresses the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your jaws, face, and head. You may know you are clenching or grinding at night if you wake up with pain and tightness in your jaw and face, earaches, or headaches.

If you think you are grinding and clenching, seek out Dr. Papillon right away. He will make a custom-fit nightguard for you to wear while you sleep. The nightguard works to relax tense jaw muscles and also protects your teeth from wear-and-tear.

There is help for your jaw pain! Relieve your painful jaws by calling Dr. Felix Papillon at Papillon Dental Care in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Call today and be on your way to a pain-free life!