21 Jun What Is TMD?
Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw? Does your jaw click and pop while you’re eating, talking, or simply going about your day? If so, you could have temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD. TMD can do more than just leave you with an aching jaw in the morning—it can cause long-lasting pain and discomfort, headaches, neck aches, and even hearing problems. If you suspect you might have TMD, talk to your dentist in Tucson about possible treatment options. Read on to learn more about TMD.
The Temporomandibular Joints
These two joints that make up our jaws perform interesting and complex functions. The temporomandibular joints move up and down, slide side to side, front to back, and can perform any combination thereof simultaneously. These flexible joints allow you to eat, talk, yawn, and generally be animated. When there is an imbalance between the joint and the surrounding muscles, symptoms of TMD may occur.
There are a variety of issues that can cause TMD. Stress is believed to be one of the overarching causes, as it can make someone excessively tight in the facial and jaw muscles. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can also contribute to TMD. The excess pressure exerted on the temporomandibular joint by teeth grinding often leads to TMD. Disorders such as arthritis may also cause or exacerbate TMD, so be sure to tell your dentist if you have a history of musculoskeletal problems.
Taking steps on your own, like avoiding excessively hard foods and icing your jaw, can help the symptoms of TMD. For many people, self-care is not enough. You and your dentist can work together to determine if splint therapy could help your TMD. Splints are normally worn all of the time to help improve your bite and lessen the stress on your jaw.
If you are one of the many people in Tucson with symptoms of TMD, call John Carson, DDS at (520) 514-7203. We offer comprehensive dental care, including treatment for beginning and advanced cases of TMD.