What is Tmj - tmd?

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD. 

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get much use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. TMJ refers to a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint area and the muscles that control the jaw area. Typically, pain in this area doesn’t signal a serious problem and is usually only occasional and temporary. However, the pain can be intense for those who develop long-term symptoms and doesn’t go away without treatment.

What Causes TMJ – TMD?

Sometimes trauma to the jaw area can trigger TMJ -TMD, but in most cases, symptoms start with no apparent reason. Because TMJ – TMD is more common in women, scientists are studying a possible link between TMJ -TMD and female hormones.

What are the Symptoms of TMJ – TMD?

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth

What Can You Do About TMJ – TMD?

Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. Your dentist can help indicate the presence of TMJ-TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.

There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMJ – TMD from becoming more severe or to prevent it from occurring:

  • Relax your face — remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
  • Avoid grinding your teeth
  • Avoid constant gum chewing
  • Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
  • Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
  • Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
  • Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
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