Approximately ten million Americans suffer from TMD but may not know it’s name or much about it. You or someone you love may be suffering from it and it may be affecting the quality of your life. Here are a four important things to know about TMD and how it can be treated:
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), is a condition that involves the joint that attaches your jaw to your skull. It can produce painful symptoms such as jaw pain, neck pain, headaches and chronic ear pain. If ignored and left untreated, the symptoms and the pain of TMD can make it difficult to eat and speak and may even result in a locked jaw. Not all jaw joint pain and symptoms are TMD. At Lerner & Lemongello we can determine at your initial appointment if you are indeed a TMD sufferer.
- A diagnosis of TMD is typically made via a series of x-rays and a complex oral examination. During this examination, we will massage near your jaw to find the source of your pain and discomfort, and to feel for any noticeable swelling. We will also ask you about your overall health, and the possible sources of stress in your life.
- One of the main causes of TMD is the habitual grinding of the teeth during sleep or stressful situations. This is called Bruxism. Other causes may be habitual clenching of the teeth, arthritis, misaligned teeth, or trauma to the neck or head.
4.Are there treatments for TMD? When you are initially diagnosed with TMD, mild treatment is the preferred recommendation – such as eating soft foods, focusing on stress-reduction, applying ice and heat, and possibly taking a muscle relaxant. If the condition persists, a mouth guard or protector to prevent teeth clenching or grinding may be recommended. Although it is rarely necessary, occasionally someone suffering from severe TMD must undergo surgery.
Call to schedule a consultation appointment, today, especially if you think you may have TMD and would like a complete dental examination.