There are many known dental diseases, which you may or may not encounter throughout your lifetime. They may range from simple conditions, such as cavities and tooth discoloration, to complex ones, like TMD/TMJ.
What is TMD/TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ) is an umbrella term that covers acute and chronic pain, and inflammation of the temporomandibular joint.
What are the causes of TMD/TMJ?
There are no known specific causes of TMD/TMJ. Despite this, specialists have listed many possible causes that normally lead to TMD/TMJ symptoms. These include:
1. Injuries to the jaw
2. Injuries to the temporomandibular joint
3. Injuries to the head and neck muscles
4. Grinding and clenching of teeth
5. Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball joint and socket
What are the symptoms of TMD/TMJ?
The common symptoms of TMD/TMJ are:
1. Toothaches, headaches, neck aches, ear aches, and upper shoulder pain
2. Hearing problems and tinnitus or ringing in the ears
3. Pain or discomfort in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders. Also, in or around the ear when chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide
4. Jaws that get “stuck” or “locked” when in the open- or closed-mouth position
Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
5. Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite
What are the treatments for TMD/TMJ?
TMD/TMJ treatments range from simple conservative treatments to complex dental procedures. Some of them are:
1. Application of moist heat or cold packs
2. Eating soft foods
3. Taking medications, such as Tylenol and Advil
4. Using occlusal splints or mouth guards that may reduce the stress on the jaw, and cover the deflective interference affecting bites
5. Undergoing corrective dental treatments, such as dental crowns, bridges, and braces
For more information on TMD/TMJ, you may browse through this website or call 219-809-6584.