As you are reading this, we have a question for you. Is your mouth hurting right now? Do you have an aching jaw? Does your jaw hurt sometimes, or is it a consistent pain? Have you noticed that you have trouble chewing?
While some people discount the pain in your aw, they shouldn’t. When your jaw hurts, it can make your whole mouth ache. It can also make your head hurt. Did you ever think that your pain could be caused by your jaw joint? Your pain could be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ can cause a lot of trouble and pain. Bryan Hill, DDS have some information for you about TMJ and TMD.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint can affect your entire jaw, which also affects your teeth, bite, and gums. You may even have trouble with the muscles in your face that are responsible for chewing. Your jaw joint is very important. It works in much the same way as your hip joint. Like your hip joint, your jaw joint is two bones that are cushioned with a fibrous disk in between them. It is that fibrous disk, as well as your muscles and ligaments, that allow you to move your jaw effectively.
Researchers think as many as 30% of the population have problems with their jaw joints. Usually, more women than men have problems with their jaw joints. The researchers say this may be because women’s disks are different in women than in men.
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
There are a lot of symptoms of TMD. You may notice that you have pain in the corner of your jaw, close to your ear. You might also notice swelling in that area as well. If you are having pain in your jaw, you may it gets worse when you chew or when you speak. You may also have problems closing your jaw - it may feel as if it is stuck open. You could have spasms in your jaw muscles. You could have facial spasms as well. Your jaw may even feel as if it is out of alignment. People with TMD sometimes get headaches that seem to begin around your ear or the back of your head. They might eventually spread to your whole head. You might also hear popping or cracking noises when you chew your food. These are all symptoms of TMD.
What Does Treatment for TMD Look Like?
Treatment for TMD depends on what is causing your jaw pain in the first place. If you have possible TMD due to an accident or an injury, we can begin to treat that with medication. Exercises also sometimes help. If your TMD is caused by bruxism, we can help that with a nightguard that protects your teeth from clenching and grinding. You may also try ice and anti-inflammatories.
Do you think you have TMD? Are you having problems with your jaw joint? Do you need help getting your jaw joint back on track? Why not give Bryan Hill, DDS a call at (509)468-4040? We can help you with your jaw joint.