Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD or TMJD) is a range of painful conditions which can affect the jaw joint, surrounding muscles and sometimes nerves. It is important to note that it is not life threatening but can have a large impact on quality of life as the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage.
Symptoms can include:
- Pain in the muscles around the joint
- Stiffness in the muscles around the jaw joint
- Reduced jaw movements
- Clicking or popping sounds around the jaw joint
- Pain radiating to the ear, face, jaw or neck
- Teeth grinding; with signs of excess wear on the teeth
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- A change in the way the teeth meet together
It is important to note that some people may have one, several or none of the symptoms listed above and that having one does not instantly imply a diagnosis of TMD.
What options are available?
Traditional options for TMD include the use of jaw exercises, pain killers, heat therapy and trying to avoid placing excess strain on the jaw joints, for example eating a soft diet and avoiding opening the mouth too wide.
The next line of treatment includes the manufacture of a custom made bite splint which is designed to prevent the teeth from contacting. Bite splints have been shown to reduce the pain associated with TMD but will not stop any teeth grinding or clenching from occurring (instead one will continue to grind the teeth into the bite splint; and will over time wear through the bite splint). Bite splints offer a simple treatment option but are associated with downsides; including that the bite splint cannot be worn whilst eating, they can affect the speech and can cause changes in the bite.
Cerezen – the new treatment option
What is it?
This new device offers a revolutionary new way to manage TMD. The Cerezen device is a hollow custom made insert which fits into the ear canal, being almost invisible from the outside.
How does it work?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located near to the ear canal, and so as the jaw opens and closes the shape of the ear canal changes.
As shown in the diagram the Cerezen device fits into the ear canal and when the teeth are clenched together subtle pressure is applied to the walls of the canal which encourage the clenching to stop.
How are the devices made?
Once a diagnosis of TMD has been confirmed, a certified audiologist will made impressions of your ear canals, approximately two weeks after this theCerezen device will be ready for you to insert.
- The Cerezen device should not be worn whilst showering, swimming or when using a sauna, additionally they should not be worn when playing contact sports.
- Significant weight loss or weight gain can affect the fit of the device.
- Some initial discomfort is to be expected as the ear adapts to the Cerezen device.
- If soreness, swelling, itchiness or pus discharge occurs from either ear then you should remove the Cerezen device.
- The effectiveness of the Cerezen device has not yet been confirmed for people who have had ear or Temporomandibular Joint surgery; those who have had direct trauma to the jaw and those with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoarthrosis or other connective tissue disorders.
- The following groups are not suitable for the Cerezen device; those with active ear drainage, swelling or redness, those with unresolved ear pain and those whose ear anatomy does not allow fitting of the device (for example – previous ear surgery)Further information can be found at www.cerezen.eu