TMD, short for temporomandibular disorders, is a blanket term which implies you have an existing problem with your jaw. Specifically, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The problem could range anywhere from jaw pain to a complete lack of motion in the jaw. While TMD is common, dentists cannot determine a root cause of the disorder. It seems most likely, however, that it arises due to jaw muscles malfunctioning. If you have pain or tenderness in your jaw, face, neck, and shoulders – especially when you open your mouth – you could have TMD.
Other symptoms include a clicking or popping sound when opening your mouth; a jaw that likes to lock in place; a feeling of misaligned teeth; swelling in the jaw; muscle fatigue. If you have any combination of these symptoms, never hesitate to contact your friendly Valencia dentist. Many tests are available to help diagnose your TMD and bring you closer to a treatment. Your dentist will carefully examine your temporomandibular joint for anything out of the ordinary. They may also take X-rays for a closer look at what is happening inside. Once they rule out other possible causes, they may recommend some of many treatments.
Alternating between ice and heat combined with simple stretches will help ease the pain of TMD. Anti-inflammatory drugs are also an easy solution for dealing with pain and tenderness. Taking smaller bites and eating softer foods can help ease the stress on your TMJ. And if all else fails, laser therapy can help reduce inflammation.
If you have any questions or concerns about TMD, stop by to see your friendly Valencia dentist. They can work closely with you to ensure you are receiving the best treatment possible. They can also refer you to a physical therapist, or even a surgeon if more conventional treatments do not work.