TMJ Disorder (TMD)
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) allows the jawbone, or mandible, to move freely and easily. When the movement of this joint is impaired, common actions such as speaking, biting, or chewing can become uncomfortable or even painful. Chronic pain associated with this impairment is commonly referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Fortunately, our dentists offer advanced treatment options that can reduce many of the debilitating symptoms associated with this common condition and help patients improve their livelihood.
Symptoms of TMD
Though the origin of TMD is the temporomandibular joint, the effects of this condition can extend far beyond the jaw. Some people experience discomfort or pain located in areas other than the jaw and are unaware that TMD is the cause. The symptoms of TMD may include:
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- A clicking or popping sound from the jaw
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
- Ear ache
- Ringing of the ears
- Facial pain
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Numbness of the fingers or arms
When left untreated, the symptoms of TMD can have a significant impact on overall quality of life. Prompt treatment may prevent more extensive symptoms from developing.
Causes of TMD
There is no single cause for TMD, and each case of TMD should be diagnosed by an experienced dentist in order to determine the best method of treatment. There are a variety of factors that can lead to the development of TMD, including muscle imbalance, poor occlusion, frequent grinding or clenching of the jaw, a breakdown of cartilage, or arthritis. In some cases, TMD may simply be caused by overuse of the joint.
TMD Treatment Options
At Germantown Dental Group, our dentists keep up with the latest advancements in neuromuscular dentistry to provide our patients with effective TMD solutions. Many treatments are designed to alleviate symptoms, protect the temporomandibular joint, and restore the ability to eat and speak with ease. In many cases, a customized oral appliance worn while sleeping is effective at minimizing or eliminating the symptoms associated with TMD. These appliances are made to be as comfortable and precise as possible. Depending upon your diagnosis, individual treatment plans may also include oral medication, jaw therapy, or restorative dentistry procedures.
To learn more about TMD, or to discover if your symptoms may be related to TMD, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dentists.