TMJD or TMJ Disorder is a condition that makes it uncomfortable to do things like enjoy your favorite foods or even sit through a dental appointment. A lot of people come into the dental office saying they “have TMJ,” but do you really, truly have TMJD?
Locking of the Joint
That’s right, your jaw could possibly lock in a position where you cannot move it. It may be stuck open and require professional treatment to put it back into place.
Popping, Grinding or Other Noises
If the joint is not functioning properly, the disk between the two bones may contribute to noises made during opening and closing of the jaw. These may be heard or felt. Your dentist will check for these findings during a TMJ screening at your routine dental evaluation.
Inability to Open or Close the Jaw Comfortably
Whether from pain, discomfort, or physical barriers, people with TMJD may be unable to open and close their mouth, or even chew food. If brushing your teeth or eating is becoming a problem, then have your dentist check your joint range of motion.
Severe Muscle Fatigue and Facial Pain
Abnormal function or stress to the joint can create severe pain in the area of the TMJ, ears, face, neck, and even the shoulders. Headaches are normal. A bite splint can help reduce muscle strain associated with this condition.
Disorders of the jaw can make everyday life miserable. If you’ve tried home remedies or an over the counter splint, it’s time to take it a step further. Ask your dentist about non-invasive TMJD therapy that can help you live comfortably and enjoy your activities once again.
Posted on behalf of:
Linda King, DDS MAGD
4146 Georgia 42
Locust Grove, GA 30248
TMJD (Temporomandibular joint disorder) is nothing to laugh about. Although a lot of people initially notice the problem when they have difficulty opening their mouth or even eating, TMJ disorders can have a lot of other complications that go along with the condition.
Due to the clenching or abnormal function of the TMJ, the muscles immediately around the joint can become strained. This creates fatigue in the muscles around the ear and throughout the head, giving symptoms of earaches as well as headaches.
Abnormal tooth wear
If the teeth are not biting together properly due to abnormal function of the TMJ, they will begin to wear down. Accelerated wear occurs due to an improper bite relationship, making teeth bite in a way that they were not designed to. This causes the enamel to wear down at an accelerated rate, and not only causes flat, worn teeth, it can also cause damage to existing dental restorations.
Muscle pain through the neck and shoulders
Just like the headaches, muscle fatigue can radiate through the neck and shoulders as well. Some of the muscles attached at the TMJ extend all the way down into the shoulders and top of the back. Tension creates chronic muscle pain throughout areas that aren’t immediately associated with the TMJ.
Damage to the internal disc and bone of the joint can occur if the TMJ is not functioning properly. Your dentist can take an x-ray or scan to determine if damage has already taken place.
Ask your dentist about non-invasive TMJ therapies. Bite splints are an example of a simple, therapeutic way to prevent strain of the jaw and muscles during stress or sleep. Preventing strain on the joint will also improve the side effects from TMJ disorders.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
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