Like most of us, you may be thinking more about your health and what you can do to stay well. Now is a good time to address any issues that have been bothering you or causing pain. We see patients who complain of jaw pain, facial pain and headaches. Do you or someone you know suffer from these symptoms? If so, we have a solution to help you live pain free. Read more to find out about treatment for temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
What Is TMD?
Professionals are still trying to figure out the causes of TMD, but it is believed that symptoms show up due to injury of the jaw or joint, grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis, and even stress. In short, anything that puts too much pressure on the joints or muscles of your face can cause some degree of TMD.
The symptoms of TMD include discomfort or pain, depending on the severity of the case. This can be temporary or last for a long time, affecting one or both sides of your face. Other symptoms TMD patients have reported include sensitivity in the face, jaw, neck, and shoulder areas; difficulty opening the mouth wide; clicking or popping sounds; and feeling that the jaw gets “stuck” while opening or closing. These are not always painful. Uncomfortable bite, toothaches, and even swelling on the side of the face are also common signs of TMD.
The Importance of an Early Intervention
The symptoms of TMD may often be confused with other conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, sinus problems, or arthritis. That’s why it is so important to have us check your health history and perform an exam to make sure that your jaw works like it should. To do this, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) are useful because they show the TMJ anatomy in detail.
If not treated in time, TMD can evolve to:
- Tightness and severe pain in the muscles of your face, neck, and shoulders
- Joint damage, inflammation, and disc displacement
- Tooth decay due to grinding caused by misalignment and clenching
- Hearing problems, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), headaches, and even dizziness
- Development or worsening of an airway sleep disorder
If you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, please know that it can be treated. Please contact our office by email or phone and we will help get you started on the road to relief.