Tempromandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
The tempromandibular joint disorder (TMD) can be caused by a number of different conditions that affect the muscles of the jaw, the tempromandibular joint (TMJ) itself or the surrounding orofacial nerves.
Causes of TMD Include:
- Injury to the jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck.
- Grinding (bruxism) or clenching of your teeth
- Dislocation or malposition of the disc in the joint itself
- Arthritis in the joint
- Stress, that can cause tightening of the muscles of the head and neck
- TMD seems to affect women more that men and is most common between the ages of 20–40.
TMD can often be accompanied by pain and discomfort and may last a few weeks or may be a more chronic condition. It can affect one or both sides of your face.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw, joint, neck or around the ear
- Trouble opening wide
- Trouble with your jaw “locking” in an open or closed position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when opening or closing or chewing (may or may not be associated with pain)
- Headaches or tightness in the jaw joint or head and neck area
- Trouble chewing or feeling that teeth aren’t fitting together properly
- Swelling or pain on the side of your face
- Earaches or hearing problems or ringing in you ears
- Anti-inflammatory medications can often help with muscle pain and swelling
- Hot and/or cold packs
- Softer food diet with food cut into smaller pieces
- Avoid chewing gum or try limiting wide mouth opening
- Occlussal splint, or nightguard, can help to relax the jaw and joint area. They can also be used to protect your teeth from the effects of clenching and grinding and help to correct your bite by putting your teeth in a more correct position. A splint is worn all the time whereas a nightguard is only used when you sleep.
- Dental work such as crowns, bridges or braces can be used to replace missing teeth and to balance your bite or correct a bit issue.
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and Full Mouth Reconstruction – TENS uses low-level electrical currents to relax the muscles around the joint and face. This can help to relieve pain and allow your dentist to restore your bite in its most confortable and relaxed state.
If you are experiencing any TMJ symptoms, to contact our office to schedule an appointment.