Experiencing pain in the head, shoulders, neck, and jaw every once in a while is normal. However, if it has been going on for months or years, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This common disorder can also cause other symptoms like jaw locking, limited mouth opening, and clicking in the jaw joint, leading you to have trouble eating, talking, and yawning.
What Causes TMD?
TMD is characterized by facial pain and tenderness at the joint. The symptoms are experienced when the muscle of the jaw or the parts of the joint itself has problems due to:
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
TMD causes temporary or long-lasting discomfort, severe pain, or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, ears, or shoulders, especially when speaking, chewing, or opening your mouth. Other common symptoms include:
How Is TMD Diagnosed?
Scheduling a dental appointment will help you figure out if the symptoms you are experiencing are caused by TMD. Your dentist will ask about your health history, conduct an exam, and check your jaw joints. They may take full face X-rays to give a clearer view of your teeth, temporomandibular joints, and jaws. An oral surgeon specializing in the face, mouth, and jaw area may also give you further care and treatment.
Which Age Group Is Prone to TMD?
People between the ages of 20 and 40 are prone to suffering from TMD. However, children and seniors can also develop and experience this disorder’s symptoms. For instance, children and teenagers with misaligned teeth, sustain jaw-related injuries in accidents, play, or sports, or suffer respiratory illnesses are at greater risk of having TMD.
Among adults, those who have a condition called sleep bruxism can develop TMD. It is the habit of grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw while asleep. They are also at an increased risk of having this condition if they use their teeth as tools and make other habits that put excessive strain and pressure on their jaws.
How Is TMD Treated?
TMD is common, but there are treatment options available. Your dentist can create a customized treatment plan for your condition. They may suggest wearing a nightguard, also called an occlusal splint. It fits over the biting surfaces of the teeth to make minor adjustments to them and relax the muscles and jaw joints.
Regardless of age, TMD can cause severe pain, limited range of motion, and other forms of discomfort that can affect your daily life. If you experience any of this disorder’s symptoms, it’s worth discussing with your dentist. This way, you can receive appropriate treatment for your condition and much-needed relief.
Reach out to 24/7 Emergency Dental Clinic if you suffer from symptoms of TMD. Our emergency dentists are highly trained in providing the right treatment for this disorder. You can also count on us for other dental emergencies. Request an appointment today!