Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain and recurring headaches. Sometimes, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth may indicate an issue.
- Limited range of motion in the jaw joint
- Locking of the jaw joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth
- Facial pain or discomfort, including the jaw, temples, or around the ear
- Headaches, including tension headaches or migraines
- Earaches or a feeling of fullness in the ears
- Neck and shoulder pain or stiffness
- Changes in how the upper and lower teeth fit together when biting or chewing
- Tooth sensitivity or pain that doesn’t have a clear dental cause
If you notice any of these symptoms, please let your doctor know. A proper diagnosis of TMD can be made by your dentist, who will then create a personalized treatment plan for you.
You can take some easy steps at home or work to avoid TMD from worsening or occurring.
- Maintain good posture
- Avoid excessive jaw movements
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Use a mouthguard if you clench or grind your teeth
- Apply moist heat or cold packs
- Eat soft foods during jaw pain or discomfort
- Take breaks from repetitive tasks
- Avoid extreme jaw movements