Answering Your Questions About TMD
Could your headaches, jaw pain and even ear pain be treated by your dentist? If you are one of the many Americans who suffer from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) problems, your dentist may be the best place to resolve your symptoms. To help you understand why you are experiencing the symptoms of a jaw disorder and how to treat it, here are some FAQs on TMD:
What are the symptoms of TMD?
The symptoms of TMD can vary from person to person. Some may be present in your mouth while others may be felt in your face, head or neck area. In fact, tension headaches are a very common sign of TMJ problems. According to Delta Dental, the symptoms of TMD can include the following:
- pain in or around the ear
- headaches and neck aches
- tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
- jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
- jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
- difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
- sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found
What causes TMD?
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) develops due to a variety of conditions that affect the TM joints on either side of your head as well as surrounding muscles and nerves. TMD occurs when the jaw improperly twists during opening, closing or side-to-side movements. Patients may suffer from TMD after a jaw injury, if they have a misaligned bite or due to arthritis.
Does stress cause TMD?
In many cases, stress does play a major role in TMJ problems. Patients who grind or clench their teeth when they are under stress can aggravate TMD. Bruxism (teeth grinding) can also damage your teeth over time.
What will my dentist do to help?
First and foremost, your dentist will give you an accurate diagnosis of your TMD. This is typically accomplished through a series of simple tests. Once your diagnosis is confirmed, there are many treatment options available. If orthodontic correction, or jaw surgery is not necessary, your TMD may be properly managed using oral appliance therapy. This custom fit and comfortable device can be worn while you sleep, which helps many patients wake up without a tension headache. Letting your dentist treat your TMD can save your smile and significantly improve your quality of life.
If you suspect that you have a jaw disorder, please give us a call at Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry. We understand how disruptive TMD can be and we are here to help you with an accurate diagnosis and an effective, conservative treatment plan.
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087