Maybe you’ve heard the term TMD before, but weren’t quite sure what it stood for. TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder, a common disorder among many individuals that affects the joint connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull.
When a person suffers from TMD, the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly and the area becomes inflamed. The inflammation causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms that usually trigger the individual to seek medical attention.
Typical symptoms that point to TMD include:
- Popping or clicking sound when moving your jaw
- Jaw getting stuck or feeling as if it is stuck
- Headaches that can mimic a migraine in severity
- Earache and ear pain
- Pain and/or pressure behind the eyes
- Tenderness of jaw muscles
- Neck stiffness resulting from tight muscles
- A change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
- Jaw pain that is caused by yawning or opening the mouth wide
If you have TMD, it is likely that you will experience one or more of these symptoms. While there is no test to diagnose TMD, symptoms such as those listed above are a good indication of the disorder. However, before you self-diagnose, it is best to seek advice from your medical or dental care provider.
Just as there is no test to diagnose TMD, there is also no cure for the disorder. But that doesn’t mean that sufferers won’t be able to find relief. There are ways to manage and reduce symptoms associated with TMD and to make your life more comfortable.
Treatment options for those who have Temporomandibular Disorder include:
- Applying moist heat or ice to the jaw area in order to reduce pain and swelling
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicine
- Having your doctor prescribe muscle relaxants to control muscle spasms and prevent jaw locking
- Wearing a night guard to reduce added pressure from clenching or grinding
- Resting your jaw from chewing by eating a soft food diet for a few days
- Eliminating sources of stress in your life and practicing relaxation techniques
Work with your doctor or dentist to find the right treatment options for you. A combination of treatments might be the best route to take. For individuals who do not respond to the treatments above, surgery is a last resort to help address and correct the problem.
If you’ve been suffering from jaw pain or any of the other symptoms listed above, contact Easton Dentists today and schedule a consultation with one of our caring and experienced dentists. We want to help you alleviate your discomfort and get back to living pain free. Schedule today!