TMD: What You Need to Know

woman with jaw and tooth pain

If you have jaw pain, earaches and frequent headaches you might be suffering from temporomandibular disorder. It’s hard to believe, but I’m here to tell you that you may actually have a disorder that you’ve never heard of and can’t pronounce. Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD to us simpletons, is a very common disorder that often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

 

What is TMD?

TMD is a general diagnoses that encompasses problems associated with the temporomandibular joint: the joint that connects the jaw to the bones of the skull. TMD is also sometimes referred to as TMJ after the joint. This joint is right in front of your ears and gives you the ability to talk and chew. For proper function, the joint of the jaw needs a lot of assistance from facial muscles. Because of this TMD causes a slew of problems extending to the ears and even down the neck.

There are many different possible causes, and a variety of symptoms making TMD very difficult to diagnose. MD’s, ENT’s and dentists can all get involved before a proper solution can be reached. To find a solution you need to properly identify a cause so that you can stop it at the source. While TMD is something specialists are still trying to understand, there are several known causes.

 

Possible Causes

  • Injury
  • Grinding teeth
  • Clenching jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Sleep Apnea

 

Symptoms

  • General Pain
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Difficulty opening mouth wide
  • Jaw “locking” in open or closed position
  • Clicking or popping jaw
  • Tired face muscles
  • Uncomfortable or unnatural bite
  • Swelling

 

What You Can Do

If you and your doctors are struggling to understand what to do about your jaw pain you may have to resort to home remedies. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Avoid chewing gum and hard foods
  • Use ice and heat like you would to treat any sore muscle
  • Anti-inflamatories
  • Get fitted for a nightguard

 

At Eagle Rock Dental Care we understand the inconvenience that comes with temporomandibular disorders. We are here to help you find the source of your pain and lead you to a solution. We can fit you for a perfectly molded night-guard to prevent clenching and grinding at night and to give the sore muscles a break. Let us be your pros for TMD treatment. Contact us or schedule your appointment online today!

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