TMD also known as, Temporomandibular Disorder, causes chronic facial and neck pain as well as severe headaches.
The temporomandibular joints, also known as TMJs, connect the lower jawbone to the skull. Pain in around these joints can restrict movement and can be unpleasant.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Tenderness or pain in jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck pain
- Clicking or popping sound in the jaw
- Muscle spasms in the jaw
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw
- Limited opening of the mouth
Not all jaw pain is associated with TMD
It is important to see a qualified dentist for a diagnosis of TMD. However, not all jaw pain is associated with TMD. There are many preventative steps to avoid TMD
- Relaxed face: “Lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid grinding of teeth
- Avoid gum chewing
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with chin resting on hands
- Practice good posture: keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
What treatments are used for a TMJ-TMD?
TMJ disorders can be treated with a wide variety of methods. In cases where the discomfort is continuing, physical therapy and pain relieving medicine are usually needed. Traditionally, pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and sedatives are employed to assist a patient with pain management. Orthotic appliance and night guards in addition to at-home care techniques can also help with preventing any damages caused by grinding or clenching which occurs while during sleep. In the most severe of cases, surgery is used as well as pain medication injections which are delivered straight into the joint itself. Typically, surgery is provided for people whose jaw is structurally problematic.