Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

What is TMD/TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint disorder is characterized by pain and compromised movement of the temporomandibular joint.  The joint acts as a hinge between your jaw and cheek bone.  It is responsible for moving the jaw forward, backward, and side to side.

TMD is a result of the misalignment of the jaw bone.  The exact cause for misalignment is almost impossible to determine.  High levels of stress is thought to be a possible factor as it can cause you to clench your teeth and tighten your jaw and facial muscles.  The added pressure strains the joints of muscles of your jaw and face.

Symptoms of TMD

Some symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder include:

  • Pain and/or tenderness in the jaw, neck, shoulders, and around the ear.
  • Jaws that lock or click when moved
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth to chew.
  • Toothaches, headaches, ear aches, neck aches, hearing problems, ringing in the ear, and upper should pain
  • Limited ability to open your mouth
  • Swelling on one side of your face

Treatment Options

  • Occlusal (bite) Adjustment
  • Botox injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Oral splints; Mouth guards
  • Personal care- avoiding extreme jaw movements, eating soft foods, etc.
  • Stress management and Relaxation techniques
  • Medications
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