We often take our health for granted until something doesn’t work properly or we are in pain. Swallowing and opening and closing your mouth are everyday activities — facilitated by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) — that you probably don’t even think about. Your TMJ is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint becomes inflamed, it causes pain in your jaw as well as your face, neck and head, and makes eating and speaking difficult. This disorder is known as TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. It can affect your ability to do simple things such as talk, chew, and yawn.
Causes & Symptoms
While the causes of TMD can vary, common symptoms of the disorder often show up after injury to the jaw or joint, or can be due to stress or bruxism (grinding or clenching your teeth). Increased pressure on the jaw joint or face muscles can cause symptoms such as:
- Pain in the jaw, facial muscles, neck and head
- Clicking or popping noises when opening and closing your mouth
- Jaw can become stuck in an open or closed position
- Discomfort or difficulty chewing
These symptoms can range from mild to severe, but regardless of severity, it’s important to treat this common disorder because it can lead to further jaw joint damage that is more difficult to treat.
Early Intervention for TMD
It’s not uncommon for TMD symptoms to be misdiagnosed as tooth decay, sinus issues or arthritis. We can accurately diagnose and treat TMD so you can find relief from pain and discomfort. What’s more, we recommend treating TMD early so it doesn’t evolve into problems such as:
- Increased tightness and severe pain in the muscles of your face, neck, and shoulders
- Damage, inflammation, and disc displacement of the jaw joint
- Tooth decay caused by misalignment of the jaw and clenching
- Issues with hearing, ringing of the ears, and dizziness
With early detection and intervention of TMD, you can prevent these problems and get the relief you deserve. At Dentistry by Angela Britt, we help patients in Brunswick, GA treat their TMD so that they can get back to enjoying their life.