Millions of Americans suffer from TMD or Temporomandibular disorders. TMD occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing opening and closing the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
What Are The Symptoms Of TMD?
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of the top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
If you notice that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, let us know at your next appointment. We can help determine if you have TMD and create a customized treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.
What Else Can Be The Cause Of Pain?
Not all jaw pain is associated with TMD, and if you do not have TMD there are many different preventive steps you can take to maintain a healthy, strong smile.
- Relax your face — “Lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid all gum chewing
Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder – either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Many people get TMD without ever having braces. Symptoms usually wax and wane regardless of whether braces are worn. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and are concerned that you’re a candidate for TMD treatment, please contact our office for a consultation.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is an acronym that stands for Temporomandibular Joint. This joint connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull and enables movements that allow you to speak, eat, and breathe normally.
What is TMD?
TMD is an acronym that stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, and a lot of people use it interchangeably with TMJ. Please note that while we’re all expected to have a TMJ, not everyone develops TMD or is in need of assistance to manage the symptoms associated with this disorder.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
The main symptoms include pain, in varying degrees, around the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Likewise, many individuals experience locking of the jaws when they yawn.
What causes TMJ?
Unfortunately, there is no clear reason why you may have developed TMD. While we have identified several risk factors that include arthritis, severe stress, and more, there is no definitive answer as to what causes people to develop a TMD.
Who should treat TMD?
This will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Please note that extremely severe or complex cases of TMD will require a surgical intervention that only an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform.
Is TMD responsible for my headaches?
There is a strong possibility that your headaches are related to a case of TMD if your pain starts at the base of your skull or around the jaw and radiates upward. Please consult with an orthodontist to evaluate your medical history and rule out the possibility of TMD.
What is the most successful treatment for TMJ?
This will highly depend on the severity of your case. You should always consult first about the non-invasive and reversible treatment options before moving on to considering surgical interventions. Please consult with a professional, such as an orthodontist, to learn more.