On October 2nd, 2014, posted in: Dental News, Latest News by 0 Comment

The TMD Basics

Several of our patients always ask us about TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) commonly referred to as TMJ. TMD describes various conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and nerves of the jaw associated with persistent facial pain. TMD is more than twice as likely to affect women than men. Symptoms may occur on either one or both sides of the face, jaw, or head. Trauma or an injury may also lead to TMD symptoms.

The most common TMD symptoms are:

  • jaw pain while chewing, biting, or yawning
  • jaw pain or soreness that is more frequent in the morning or late afternoon
  • a clicking sound when opening and closing your mouth
  • difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • a stiff or locked jaw while talking, yawning, or eating
  • sensitive teeth with no evident dental issues
  • an earache without any noticeable infection

Click here to watch this video onWhat are the causes of TMD?

In most cases, the original cause of TMD is unknown. An injury or trauma to the jaw or jaw joint, however, could sometimes be a key factor in TMD. Mental or physical tasks or even stressful situations may lead to or exacerbate TMD. Discomfort usually arises from overworking the muscles, such as grinding or clenching teeth. It’s these kind of habits that can exhaust the muscles in the jaw and possibly result in headaches or neck pain. TMD is not permanent, but rather it occurs in cycles and may recur if induced by stress.

Treating TMD

To treat the majority of TMD cases, rest the jaw joints, take a pain reliever, and practice techniques to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. Bite balancing with a bite guard may be helpful. To prevent the teeth from grinding or clenching, take control so that your muscles will be able to relax. Dr. Dellinger and his team will diagnose and assess the degree of your TMD to effectively treat your TMD. By making routine dental appointments, Dr. Dellinger will be able to check your TMD on a regular basis and get you back to a comfortable state of mind and jaw.

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