Do you suffer from chronic pain in your jaw, face, head, neck or shoulders? You may have what is known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMD. TMD is a painful disorder that can drastically reduce the quality of your life.

 About TMD

TMD is a term used to describe a number of problems that can occur associated with the temporomandibular joint (the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth). The syndrome can be characterized by pain and restricted ability to move your jaw. You may also hear noises when you move your jaw such as a popping, grinding, or clicking sound. You may also experience jaw locking, which is when you are unable to close your jaws temporarily.

How Do You Get TMD?

TMD can be caused by a variety of factors. The correlation between the factors and the syndrome is poorly understood, and modern dentistry is still looking for a more nuanced understanding of how TMD develops and what causes the syndrome.

Some of the many factors that may cause TMD include:

  • Joint disease (such as arthritis).
  • Jaw injuries.
  • Bruxism (tooth clenching and grinding).
  • Ill-fitting dentures.
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression.

How to Cure TMD

There is no magic prescription to make TMD go away, since TMD is an amalgamation of factors and symptoms.

Sometimes TMD disappears with rest and care.

Tips to give your jaw a break:

  • Eat small pieces of food or drink liquids;
  • Don’t move your jaw suddenly or open it wide;
  • Use a hot or cold compress to soothe area.

If your TMD symptoms remain unchanged after rest, call your dentist. A dentist will be able to help you by developing a treatment plan.

Possible aspects of the treatment plan:

  • Medicine for pain / inflammation or insomnia;
  • Relaxation techniques;
  • Providing you with an occlusal splint (night guard) to prevent teeth grinding;
  • Referral to a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or behavioral therapist (for strategies to cope with muscle pain);
  • Referral to a TMD specialist;
  • Surgery (this option is very rare and is only used in extreme cases).

TMD can be a very painful disease. If you have been suffering from the symptoms above, give us a call so we can develop a treatment plan to ease your suffering.