Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is referred to as a group of conditions, often painful, that include problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that regulate chewing and everyday jaw and neck movement. While the discomfort can be extremely horrible to deal with at times, it is not constant and oftentimes occurs in cycles. For the majority of the time, the pain will subside with little or no treatment and, in rare cases, people have to endure a long-lasting reaction and reoccurring symptoms created by TMD.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
Some common symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain or extreme tenderness and soreness in your face, jaw joint, and in and around your teeth when you chew and your upper extremities like your neck and shoulders
- Limited movement in the jaw or, in some cases, your jaw may stop working and lock itself up
- Painful experiences and clicking and crackling sounds when you open or close your mouth
- A noticeable and sudden change in the way your upper teeth meet with your lower teeth
- Unexplainable and indescribable headaches and pain throughout your whole face
What causes TMD?
While sporadic discomfort in your jaw and joints are not a reason to fret, if you are experiencing any of the above it may be a cause for concern to give a ring to your local dentist. When our muscles and joints don’t work properly, especially in the facial region, the muscles can ultimately go into spasms. This spasm, if occurring more than once on occasion, can result in tissue damage, severe pain and muscle inflammation and even more and worse spasms.
A few of the possible causes in conjunction with TMD are:
- Car accidents or other forms of trauma occurrences that involve initial blows to the head or neck whiplash
- Unnoticeable routine daily habits like clenching or grinding your teeth
- Unusual amounts of stress and other diseases such as arthritis
How is TMD treated?
TMD is the ugly stepchild to bigger and more invasive oral problems and because the majority of patients do not suffer from severe cases or hereditary traces of TMD, a prescribed option like antibiotics or a night guard to help protect your jaw and teeth is oftentimes given by a trained and trusted dental office.
Additionally, home remedies and certain dietary restrictions, such as applying moist heat to the area, eating soft foods, and avoiding extreme jaw movements can help relieve extreme pain and allow the affected area time to heal. General muscle and jaw exercises as well as stress relievers are also a viable option.
Dental Care with Annapolis Dental Care
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