I have patients who tell me they are experiencing unexplained pain in their jaw, face, neck and shoulders. They don’t know what could be causing it, and don’t know who to ask for help.
When I tell them they are most likely suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and that I can treat their symptoms, they are relieved to know there is a solution for their discomfort. Can you identify with any of these symptoms? Click here to learn more about the common symptoms of TMD.
TMD is a pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the lower jaw to the skull. When the TMJ is not functioning properly, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Pain in the jaw, face, and ear that can travel to the neck and shoulders when chewing, talking or yawning
- Popping, clicking or grating noises when jaw joint moves
- Jaw may become “locked” open or can not fully open
- Top teeth don’t align with bottom teeth, making it feel like your bite is “off”
What causes TMD?
Are you unsure of what could be causing your TMJ pain? Take a look at this list and see if you identify with any of these issues:
- Grinding of the teeth (bruxism): Grinding teeth results in stress on the TMJ, muscle spasms and inflammation which leads to pain. Over time, this habit can wear down teeth and lead to bite misalignment. The result is that the TMJ changes and doesn’t function properly.
- Teeth clenching: Constant clenching of the teeth causes stress on the TMJ. Stress is often blamed for tension in the jaw, which leads to the clenched jaw.
- Osteoarthritis: The jaw joint can break down due to this degenerative joint disease. It causes a slow deterioration of cartilage.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This chronic inflammatory disorder causes inflammation of the joint and can affect the TMJ.
The good news is you don’t have suffer with pain any longer. At Dentistry by Angela Britt, we help TMD patients get the relief they need with solutions to prevent further TMD symptoms. Please contact our office today for a consultation.