TMJ/TMD

Share:

TMD is a disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint, which can cause reoccurring debilitating pain in the jaw if left untreated or misdiagnosed.

The TMJ is the jaw joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone of the skull. It assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw and is one of the most intricate joints in our bodies.

Common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Clicking/popping in the jaw joints when opening or closing the mouth
  • Persistent headaches and facial pain
  • Limited ability to open the mouth
  • Pain or tenderness in the neck or ear when talking, chewing or opening the mouth wide

Since these symptoms may be a result of other conditions, a thorough examination is needed to receive an accurate diagnosis and to design an efficient treatment plan.

We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMD.

Treatment

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, treatment options will vary. After a thorough examination, your doctor will determine the best treatment option for you. Treatments can range from practicing certain exercises with your jaw, eating a special diet and applying hot and cold compresses to practicing stress management techniques, using a splint or night guard to promote muscle relaxation or bite correction surgery.