What is Orofacial Pain?
In order to explain what TMD is and how it affects patients, we must first clarify the ways in which orofacial pain is characterized. Orofacial pain is defined as a descriptor for symptoms that pertain to pain and dysfunction in the areas around a patient’s head and neck.
Pain may manifest after dental operations, be caused by malignancy, or be exhibited through pain syndromes and disorders. TMD is identified by the latter and is categorized by pain, its primary problem.
What is TMD?
Do you have jaw pain or frequent headaches? You may have TMD.
Typically, headaches and often unexplained facial pain can be classified as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, also known as TMD. These symptoms of pain affect the muscles that control chewing as well as jaw joints.
Consequently, these disorders encompass a variety of conditions, including:
- Jaw Pain
- Jaw Tenderness
- Joint Dysfunction
- Muscle Dysfunction
- Facial Pain
- Difficulty Chewing
- Aching Ear Pain
The cause of these conditions is less clear. However, disorders may occur when a joint or its cartilage is damaged. Misaligned disks may also be a cause to the pain syndromes classified through Temporomandibular Joint Disorders.
When it comes to TMD, there are also several risk factors to keep in mind:
- Jaw Injury
- Teeth Grinding
- Connective Tissue Diseases
Risk factors may increase the possibility of developing orofacial pain symptoms. Take note of chronic conditions that may result in heightened pain surrounding joints or muscles in the head and neck.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders are common, and there are over 3 million cases of TMD symptoms each year. Symptoms may last from days to weeks, and only cease when they are allowed to heal properly. Most importantly, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders are reversible and treatable. The disorders are diagnosed and treated through an orafacial pain and bite analysis, which is one of Dr. Pamela Cain’s specialties.
The T-Scan® is a digital bite analysis device that is used to measure the force of a patient’s bite as well as its timing. It is a tool that determines where there may be pain issues in the jaw and face. Furthermore, the T-Scan® is used in order to better assess and relieve TMD disorders for future treatment.
Muscles and joints in the face and jaw are taken into account during analysis. As a result, a comprehensive assessment is created from the bite analysis to determine where a patient’s teeth rest in their mouth. Bite analysis constructs a natural foundation for a treatment plan that can be used in TMD therapy. A successful TMD treatment is characterized first by the initial bite test and scan.
To learn more about the T-Scan® and Dr. Pamela Cain’s TMD therapy process at Today’s Dentistry, give us a call today..
Schedule a Dental Exam
It is important to remember that TMD is common and often reversible in millions of dental patients. To take control of your orofacial pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pamela Cain & Associates at Today’s Dentistry. Contact us at (865) 219-3622 or schedule an appointment online.