The pain of temporomandibular joint dysfunction can be a lot to manage. Jaw pain that’s sometimes intense, head and neck pain, sometimes unexplained ear pain and other uncomfortable symptoms can be hard to live with. But, what about adding GERD on top of it all? A recent study conducted between the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta and the Fourth Military Medical University in Xiang, China has shown that discovered that people with TMD have a great risk of developing GERD than their peers living without TMD. Millennium Smiles in Frisco, Texas, helps manage patients living with the uncomfortable symptoms and side effects of TMD.
So, you know that TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder (or dysfunction), but what does GERD stand for? It is short for gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD is a condition that develops in the lower esophageal sphincter that causes heartburn and acid indigestion. But, that’s kind of far away from the jaw. How can these two conditions possibly be connected?
The researchers on the study don’t really know yet but have their theories. One theory is that TMD causes stress on the body, which causes the body to develop GERD as a response. Another possible cause is that GERD pain causes stress on the TMJs. Here’s what researchers think: acid indigestion and heartburn cause affected individuals to clench their jaw in response to pain. Although both ideas could be possible, right now they’re still being explored.
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But, how does that help patients living with TMD and GERD? If you think you have GERD, talk to your doctor about how you can reduce acid – most likely that will be with a prescription or over-the-counter medication. Some other changes you can make include reducing consumption of food and drinks that are high in acids, such as citrus, sodas, alcohol, fried food, and spicy foods.
If you have TMD, talk to Dr. Korous about reducing painful symptoms and preventing discomfort by using warm compresses, massage, and neuromuscular orthodontics to help reposition the jaw so it is better aligned with your TMJ joints.
Find out more about how Millennium Smiles in Frisco, Texas, can help to treat your TMD. Call us now at 972-468-8771for more information or to schedule a consultation.