Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD as it is more commonly known, is a disorder that effects the jaw and the muscles surrounding the mouth. It is typically caused by a trauma or injury to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When this occurs, the TMJ may become “locked,” or unable to move properly, which can cause problems with chewing or speaking. It is often quite uncomfortable and even painful. It’s estimated that more than 10 million people suffer from TMD, and many others go undiagnosed.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
Though the actually cause of TMD is unknown, many dental professionals believe it to be caused by stress, teeth grinding, or other dental issues such as crooked teeth. It may also be due to arthritis in the jaw, or a dislocation of the joint. Symptoms of TMD include:
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw and face (which may also extend as far as the shoulders and ears)
- A clicking noise in the jaw when chewing
- Poor mobility in the jaw that results in an inability to open your mouth widely
- Swelling in the face
- The jaw “locking” when you attempt to open or close your mouth
How is TMD diagnosed?
In order to diagnose TMD, your dentist will ask you a series of questions regarding your symptoms and perform a thorough examination to determine if there is any inflammation or tenderness. They will also check your jaw mobility and examine your bite and teeth to determine if there are any problems that may be causing TMD. Your dentist may also take x-rays of your mouth in order to get a better view of your jawbone and TMJ.
What is the treatment for TMD?
TMD has several treatments that may be effective, depending on the cause of your particular case. In instances where teeth grinding is the main cause, your dentist may recommend a treatment plan to fix any issues causing you to grind your teeth, as well as a night guard. Dental treatments such as crowns, bridges, and even braces may help to correct any dental issues causing your TMD. If stress is an issue, your dentist may recommend stress relieving exercise such as yoga, relaxation techniques such as meditation, or you may be given a prescription for muscle relaxers. You will also most likely be advised to avoid beverages containing caffeine, chewing gum, and foods that may be difficult to chew.
If you believe that you might be suffering from TMD, call our Dallas dentist Jaime Osorio DDS of Buckner Family Dental today at 214-326-0122 to schedule an appointment. Our staff has dealt with a number of TMD cases, and can help prescribe a treatment plan that will help alleviate your discomfort and return your TMJ to normal.