It’s estimated that around 10 million Americans are affected by TMD. If you think you or a loved one is suffering from TMD, here are 4 facts about the disorder that you may not already know.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD, is a condition that involves the joint that attaches the jawbone to the skull. The condition produces various unpleasant symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, or even chronic ear pain. If left untreated, TMD can cause severe pain making it difficult to eat or speak, or can even result in a locked jaw. However, just because you are suffering from some sort of jaw discomfort, it doesn’t automatically mean that you are suffering from TMD.
How do You Treat TMD?
Typically when you’re first diagnosed with TMD, mild-treatment is recommended such as eating soft foods, applying ice and heat, and even taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. If the condition persists, medications or even a mouth-guard are recommended. Although sometimes necessary, it is very rare for an individual suffering from TMD to have to undergo any sort of oral surgery.
How is TMD Caused?
One of the leading causes of TMD is the grinding of teeth during sleep or stressful situations. However, this isn’t the only cause of TMD, and research is still being conducted as to the root of this condition. Other causes of TMD include direct impact to the jaw or extreme clenching caused by stress.
How is TMD Diagnosed?
TMD is typically diagnosed via a series of x-rays and a complex oral examination by a dental professional. During this examination, the dentist will massage around the jaw to find the source of pain and discomfort, and to feel for any noticeable swelling.
From the treatment to the cause of TMD, these 4 things will help you better understand the disorder and decide if it’s time for you or a loved one to visit a dental professional. If you’re suffering from extreme jaw pain or discomfort, schedule an appointment with a dentist today, because you might be suffering from TMD.