TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint connects your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull and enables you to open and close your mouth. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is an umbrella term that includes a number of conditions that affect the TMJ. TMD is characterized by a combination of symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, ear pain, difficulty or discomfort when chewing, problems opening and closing your mouth, and clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when you open your mouth.
What Causes TMD?
One of the most common causes of TMD is tooth grinding or bruxism. Teeth grinding happens when the jaw is forced backward and forwards. It often happens during sleep. However, teeth grinding is quite easy to treat. Dentists can use mouth guards to prevent teeth from grinding.
Other common causes of TMJ include arthritis and injury to the jaw. Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and stiffness all over the body. Arthritis of the jaw can cause TMJ. Injuries to the jaw can cause TMJ as well, particularly facial injuries.
What Are The Symptoms of TMJ And TMD?
Common symptoms of TMJ and TMD include the following:
- Pain in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ.
- Pain in or around your ears.
- Difficulty or pain with chewing or opening and closing your mouth.
- Jaw locking, or not being able to open your mouth all the way.
- Ear pain, or pain in or around the ears.
- Jaw popping or clicking.
- Jaw stiffness.
- Earaches and headaches.
- Jaw muscle tenderness.
- Neck pain.
- Ear ringing.
- Difficulty or pain while swallowing.
How Is A TMD Diagnosed?
To diagnose a TMJ disorder, a dentist will review the patient’s medical history, examine their teeth and gums, and take X-rays. They may also order a CT scan or MRI.
What Are The Treatments for TMD?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), or TMJ disorder, occurs when the jaw joint is painful or dysfunctional. TMD can be caused by a number of factors, including teeth grinding, misaligned teeth, a misaligned jaw, a damaged jaw joint, and more. Treatments for TMJ disorder include treating the cause, replacing missing teeth, and using mouth guards to prevent teeth grinding. The major treatments for TMD include teh following:
- Physical therapy
- Behavioral modification
- Orthotic appliances
- Total joint replacement
To learn more about the dental services offered by Azalea Road Dental, call Dentist in Mobile, AL at (251) 666-1310 or schedule an appointment online.