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Woman holding jaw due to TMJ painThe temporo­mandibular joint, also known as TMJ, acts as a hinge where your jawbone meets your skull. There is a joint on both sides of your jaw. Temporo­mandibular disorders are problems with your jaw movement and pain in and around jaw joints. Temporo­mandibular disorders are known as and usually called TMD.​​​​ The acronyms: TMD, TMJ, as well as TM, are all used to summarize temporomandibular jaw problems. Many people will experience problems with jaw movement and pain in the area during their lifetime. Joint and muscle problems are complex, so finding the right TMD diagnosis may take a while.

Our team at Rush Creek Dentistry is here to help you along the way. We can build a repertoire with the nuances of your issue and recommend treatments. Luckily the discomfort that comes from TMD is temporary and more severe cases can be relieved with nonsurgical treatments and care that you will be able to manage yourself.

What Causes TMD?

TMD means you may have pain in the muscles that control your jaw movement. The exact cause of your TMD can be difficult to determine because sometimes your pain can be caused by a combination of factors. Some people with jaw pain suffer from bruxism, meaning they tend to clench or grind their teeth. TMD can also be caused by a jaw injury, arthritis, or your genetics. The most common cause of TMD is muscle tension, this can be triggered by stress. If you have a habit of clenching your jaw when you are under stress you may start to feel pain and develop TMD.

What Are The Symptoms Of TMD?

People with TMD may hear a clicking sound or feel a grinding sensation when they chew or open their mouth. It is important to understand that if there is no limitation with these movements, and if the pains experienced are few and far between, then you most likely do not need treatment. Jaw pain can be common and usually goes away on its own. A symptom of TMD is a continuous pain in your jaw or temporomandibular joint. This can be accompanied by difficulty chewing or pain while chewing. Another sign is an aching pain in your face or in and around your ear. Some also experience locking of your temporomandibular joint, this will make it difficult to open or close your mouth.

How Is TMD Diagnosed?

Unfortunately, there is no one easy way to diagnose TMD. In order to determine whether or not you have this condition your dentist will ask you questions about your habits and health. Your dentist will also check the condition of your mouth with an oral exam. Your dentist will also take x-rays in order to be able to observe your jaw bones.

How Is TMD Treated?

The good news is that the symptoms of TMD usually go away without treatment. Some at home treatments can relieve your jaw pain. In order to reduce pain at home you should rest your jaw joint. In addition, you should eat soft foods, and avoid chewy foods. If you feel intense pain or soreness, you can follow this simple treatment: use an ice pack or warm and moist cloth to soothe your jaw for fifteen minutes a few times a day. Gently open and close your mouth, while switching back and forth between hot and cold. Learning ways to reduce stress will also help with TMD problems.

Additionally, you can use medicines that reduce swelling and relax your jaw muscles for a short time. As far as dental treatments, our dental professionals at Rush Creek Dentistry are experienced in providing splints and surgeries for TMD. Consult with a dental professional now by dialing 682-277-0535.
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