Before you learn how TMD presents itself, you need to define TMD. The following information can give you a more comprehensive description about this prevailing dental condition.
What Is TMD?
The letters, TMD, stand for temporomandibular joint disorder. It often is confused with TMJ, which actually refers to the joint that links the jaw to the skull. Therefore, TMD references the disorder that can affect the temporomandibular joint or the TMJ. This joint can become damaged from trauma or from overuse. Overuse may involve excess gum chewing, grinding the teeth at night (bruxism), a gum infection and inflammation, or deterioration of the jaw due to arthritis. In some cases, TMD may result from a dental misalignment or a problem with dentition. TMD can present itself in one of various forms. Therefore, if you have TMD symptoms, you need to have your jaw and bite examined to see what can be done.
Symptoms of TMD
When TMD is affecting you, you will frequently experience jaw pain or recurring facial pain. You may also notice that your jaw clicks or pops when you open and close your mouth - something that can prove to be quite annoying. Some TMD patients report that their jaws lock or that they feel tenderness and soreness in the jaw muscles. Other patients have problems with muscle spasms or difficulty chewing. To alleviate the symptoms, we suggest that patients eat softer foods and practice stress-relieving exercises. TMD may occur because of a high level of anxiety, poor posture, or, as noted, excessive chewing or jaw use. In fact, some people notice that their TMD flares up at certain times during the day or week. When this happens, you need to record what you were doing before you experienced jaw soreness or discomfort. This will help us learn more about treating the condition.
Do you experience jaw pain regularly? If so, you should have the pain assessed immediately. Give us a call to schedule an appointment so we can review your complaints and suggest a course for treatment.