Facts About TMJ Disorder

Facts About TMJ Disorder

Quality & Affordable Care!It is estimated that about 10 million Americans are affected by problems in their Temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is the joint that facilitates movement of the jaw, allowing us to speak, chew and yawn. The joint is located at the front of each ear, where the lower jaw connects to the bone of the skull. Although considered a joint, the TMJ is different from other joints in the body since it leaves it socket to slide forward as opposed to hinge-type kind of movement.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder?

Pain is the most common symptom of TMJ disorders, even though not every person gets pain. Others include: headaches, ear pain, craniofacial discomfort, clicking or popping noises when you open the mouth, locking of the face and jaw muscles, pain when chewing.

Must-Know Facts

  1. TMJ is a body part and not a disease: TMJ is the acronym for Temporomandibular joint while TMD stands for Temporomandibular disorder. Therefore, TMJ refers to the body part while TMD is the name for any problems that affect the joint. In some cases, the condition can also be referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
  2. Stress makes TMD worse: In response to stressful, situations, some people clench or grind their teeth which ultimately leads to TMD. Others also make their facial and jaw muscles to tighten which only worsens the symptoms of TMD. There as part of TMJ therapy treatment, you might need to learn ways on how to cope that do not affect your TMJ.
  3. Alternative Treatment Works: TMD is mostly treated using conservative approaches. At home remedies like using a hot or cold compress and relaxing muscles of the jaw will work for mild cases. Other therapies that can be used include use of stabilization splints or bite guards to reduce pressures on the jaws, cognitive behavioral therapy if the cause is due to the effects of stress such as teeth clenching, low-level laser bean therapy and manipulation or chiropractic care.
  4. There is No Specific Diagnostic Test for TMD: Unlike other conditions that can be diagnosed with a single specific test, TMD requires a series of oral exams before it can be diagnosed or ruled out. At Millennium Smiles in Frisco, TX, your dentist will begin with a series of physical exams to identify areas around the TMJ that might be painful or tender. Your medica history will also be taken into account and further tests such as X-RAYS, MRI’s and CT Scans will be done to give the dentist a more vivid picture of what is happening inside your jaws. Once it has been established you have the disorder, you will begin your TMJ therapy in Frisco. The type of therapy used will depend on the extent to which the disorder affects your jaw movements.
  5. TMD Affects the Jaw’s Range of Motion: Besides the pain, TMD restricts the jaw’s range of motion. You will find it difficult to perform certain action that were no problem before liking yawning, singing or opening your mouth really wide. Chewing some foods may also be problem.
  6. Problems with Your Bite Can Cause TMD: As part of the diagnosis, your dentist will check if you have any problems in your bite such an underbite, overbite or crossbite. In some cases, TMJ treatment in Frisco is easily fixed by correcting problems in your bite.
  7. TMD Could Be as A Result of Neck Problems and Injuries: There are a range of issues that can cause TMD and any form of trauma to the neck or facial muscles is one of the causes. You don not have to impact the jaw directly to experience pain in the TMJ.
  8. Pain from TMD Can Affect Other Parts of The Body: The bones and muscles in our bodies are connected. It is therefore not uncommon for pain in the TMJ to extend to other parts such as the ear, face and neck. Some patients may also experience chronic headaches and wooziness or upper bac shoulder aches as a result of the pain.

To learn more about TMD and the treatment therapies used to treat in Frisco, Texas, book an appointment with Millennium Smiles today!