Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to a set of conditions that involve trouble with your jaw and face muscles. It results from a problem in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a hinge that connects the temporal bones in your skull, in front of each ear, to your jaw. The joint enables you to talk, yawn, and chew by allowing your jaw to move.
The most common symptoms of TMD include:
Pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, and pain when biting
Jaws that are stuck open or shut without you being able to unlock them
Grating or popping sounds when you chew, or close or open your mouth
In the absence of dental caries or gum disease, symptoms such as migraines, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may also indicate TMD.
Risk Factors for TMD
TMD is more prevalent in women than men.
The condition is most common among adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years.
If you have arthritis in the jaw area, movement becomes more difficult and puts a strain on the temporomandibular joint.
Excessive tooth grinding increases stress on the joint.
General stress can lead you to clench your teeth and strain facial muscles.
Very often, TMD can be treated with a splint or nightguard. Splints and nightguards are custom-made mouthpieces that fit over your upper and lower teeth, to prevent them from coming together and reduce the effects of clenching or grinding the teeth.
Regardless of the reason for your TMD, a simple visit to our office will help you understand all your treatment options and get you started on a life free of jaw pain