Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Image0113Temporomandibular joint disease (TMD), a dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is becoming more of a problem as people are experiencing more stressful lives. The disorder causes pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and the muscles that move the jaw.

Many people may have pain in their jaw and related muscles, though that does not always signify a major problem. Most of the time the pain is temporary and goes away without the need for professional help.

However, sufferers of TMD have other symptoms. They may have pain in their jaw, face, and even their ears. Many suffer from headaches. Some people even experience pain in their neck and dizziness. Most people complain that they have trouble eating along with an uncomfortable bite.

Many people attempt home remedies using over-the-counter pain relievers along with ice packs to help dull the pain. This may relieve some symptoms, but it doesn’t address the underlying issues, there are times when you need to see a dentist.

Dentists will do a thorough examination and then decide the best way to help you. Mouth guards, worn during sports (when you clench your jaw) or at night (when you grind your teeth), can be very helpful. Sometimes there is an error in the balance of a person’s teeth, and other times it may be an issue of psychological stress. There are times when surgery will be needed to correct damage to the bone or correct structural damage to the joint.

If you are suffering from TMD or think you are, you may want to contact your dentist and think about treatment before your ability to chew food is permanently damaged.