TMD or Temporomandibular Disorder

 

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurrent headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

Your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints (sometimes known as TMJ), connect your lower jawbone to your skull. As you may imagine, your TMJ gets 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:

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
  •  

Should you notice any of these symptoms of TMJ disorder, let us know! Our family dentistry team can help advise you as to whether they indicate the presence of TMD, and what sort of treatment is appropriate for you.

 

Avoiding Headaches and Other TMD Symptoms

 

If you don't have any of these TMD symptoms, let's keep it that way! There are some simple things you can do at home or work to prevent TMD from occurring in your jaw joints:

 

  • Relax your face – remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid constant gum chewing
  • Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder – either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture – keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared

 

If you are suffering from constant unexplained headaches, the problem may be with your TMJ muscles. Call Grapevine today for a TMD consultation.

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