Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is the term used for any problem associated with you temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Your TMJ is a flexible joint, responsible for all movement of the jaw; from the up and down motions of speaking and chewing, to the side to side motions that allow functions like facial expressions and yawning.
Symptoms of TMD
Symptoms of TMD can be similar to the symptoms of other disorders. It is important to have an experienced neuromuscular dentist examine and diagnose TMD. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Tenderness or pain in the face, particularly around the TMJ, when you eat, chew, speak, or yawn
- Lock jaw, or limited jaw mobility
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Back, shoulder, and neck pain • Nasal and/or ear infections
- Tooth damage
Some of these symptoms may be accompanied by dizziness, nausea, insomnia, and a variety of other problems. You should contact a neuromuscular dentist at the first sign of any of these symptoms.
TMD is diagnosed through a combination of hands-on examination, and technological methods. After listening to your symptoms, an experienced neuromuscular dentist will carefully examine your TMJ for tenderness, limited mobility, and lock jaw. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are sometimes necessary to distinguish between TMD and other common problems like nasal infections, or gum disease. After diagnosis, the treatment option best suited to your needs will be determined by your dentist.
Treatment Options for TMD
TMD may be caused by simple dental issues like grinding your teeth, in which case simple procedures can be used to correct the problem. In other instances, TMD is caused by trauma or whiplash, and may require more extensive and advanced treatments. Common solutions to TMD include:
The Importance of Treating TMD
Left untreated, TMD can cause a lifetime of pain and discomfort. What’s more, proper jaw alignment has now been linked to overall postural stability, meaning TMD can not only be painful, but can impact your balance, strength, and energy levels. With simple treatment options and new advances in neuromuscular dentistry, you don’t need to learn to live with the soreness, and discomfort associated with TMD.
About the author:
If you live in or around Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and believe you are suffering from TMD, please contact experienced neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Terry Bass, to schedule a consultation and discuss your treatment options.