Warning Signs of TMD

Temporomandibular disorder or TMD is a condition that affects the movement of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects the jaw to the skull’s temporal bones. These are situated in front of each ear. It allows you to move your jaw in different directions so that you can chew, talk, and yawn. Problems with the jaw and the muscles in the face that control it are referred to as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). It is important to note that TMD is a condition and not a particular disease.

TMD

Several conditions are often linked with TMD. This makes it hard to determine the cause of a specific case of TMD. Injury to the joint, the jaw, or the muscles of the head and neck can lead to TMD. Other causes include clenching or grinding the teeth, which puts immense pressure on the joint, arthritis in the joint, and stress. Stress can cause an individual to tighten the jaw and facial muscles or clench the teeth. Movement of the disc or cushion between the ball and socket of the joint is also believed to be a common cause.

Signs and symptoms

TMD can have many different signs and symptoms. Some people often have symptoms but are still able to function fully. TMD usually causes severe discomfort and pain. TMD might affect one or even both sides of the face. TMD is more common in women. A person may experience pain or tenderness in different parts of the body.

These include the face, neck and shoulders, jaw joint area, and in and around the ear when chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide. TMD can cause clicking, grating, or popping sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth or chewing. Other common symptoms include difficulty opening the mouth fully, a tired feeling in the face, and jaws that lock in the closed or open mouth position. A person may also have trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite or swelling on the side of the face. Headaches, toothaches, neck aches, earaches, dizziness, upper shoulder pain, hearing problems, and ringing in the ears are also common signs and symptoms.

Treatment options

TMJ disorders are often managed as opposed to being cured. The general dentist may recommend treatment or refer the patient to another oral health care provider. There are numerous ways TMD can be managed. The success of treatment depends on the patient and dentist working together to relieve the symptoms. Home treatments for TMD include taking over-the-counter medications to reduce pain and swelling, using heat or ice packs, practicing relaxation techniques to loosen the jaw, or eating soft foods. In some cases, the dentist may recommend wearing a nightguard or dental work.

Takeaway

It is important to watch out for the signs and symptoms of TMD. Fortunately, there are ways to treat and manage the symptoms. If you suspect you have TMD, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to properly diagnose you and recommend the appropriate treatments.

Request an appointment here: https://pier210dental.com or call Pier 210 Dental Group at (530) 885-5696 for an appointment in our Auburn office.

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