There are ways to treat your TMD
TMD—often called TMJ—impacts millions of Americans. In many cases, people are unaware that they have TMD. This is because TMD, while impacting the jaw, does not always manifest as jaw pain. Instead, it presents as chronic facial and neck pain, and even headaches and earaches.
The temporomandibular joints get a lot of use.
These joints are those that connect the lower jawbone to the skill, facilitating movement of the mouth. This allows you to open and close your mouth and completed specific tasks, like chewing, speaking, and swallowing. These joints work in tandem with muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. When any part of this system is damaged, pain will result. This pain is unpleasant, and when felt specifically within the joint, can restrict movement and reduce quality of life significantly.
TMD is a condition, not a disease, and is treatable in most cases.
TMD can present in many different ways, encompassing many different signs and symptoms and ranging from mild to severe in presentation. While certain populations are more at risk of developing TMD, anyone can suffer from it. Some symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in or around the ears
- Neck pain
- Noise when moving the jaw
- Pain when moving the jaw, especially when yawning
- Swelling on one or both sides of the face
- Muscle spasms along the jaw
- A change in tooth alignment
- Locking of the jaw joints
If you notice any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with us.
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of TMD.
Some factors which have been linked to TMD are:
- Jaw injuries
- Head injuries
- Joint diseases
- Muscle diseases
- Tooth grinding and clenching
- High-stress jobs and other stressors
There are treatment options available.
Some patients may not require much in the way of treatment. Others may need significant intervention. The doctor will be able to determine what is right for you. In any case, there are certain things you can do to help reduce your pain. These are:
- Relaxing your face by keeping you lips together and teeth apart
- Eating softer foods
- Avoid yelling and yawning as much as possible
- Use a mouthguard to avoid teeth grinding
- Stop chewing gum
- Use both sides of the mouth for chewing
- Avoid resting your chin in your hand
- Focus on good posture
If you are suffering from head, neck, ear, and jaw pain, TMD might be the cause. Schedule your appointment to determine if TMD is the source of your pain.