Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMD, is a condition affecting the joints that control the movement of the jaw. It can cause pain in the jaw, face, head, neck, and shoulders. Here are the most common symptoms of this condition:
The clicking sound that occurs when you open and closes your mouth is called crepitus. If you hear this noise, you may have the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or bruxism. While many people occasionally grind their teeth at night, regular grinding can be a sign of more severe problems with your jaw's alignment and function. This may lead to other symptoms, such as headaches and neck pain.
If you are having trouble opening and closing your mouth comfortably, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. They can diagnose your condition and provide appropriate treatment recommendations. Treatment options for bruxism and TMD can include wearing a mouthguard, undergoing orthodontic treatment, and receiving restorative dental treatments.
When you've lost teeth, the jaw can shrink and no longer fit properly with the replacement teeth. The joint that connects your upper and lower jaw is no longer supported like it normally is when you chew and speak. This can cause clicking or popping noises when you move your jaw from side to side. You may also feel soreness or stiffness in your jaw muscles if the joint isn't aligning correctly.
People who experience pain associated with TMJ disorder usually report difficulty opening their mouths completely, either vertically or horizontally. This limitation can make chewing food difficult and even painful and may make it uncomfortable to talk normally.
Painful popping and grinding noises may signify overuse of the jaw muscles, which can be an indicator of temporomandibular joint disorder. If you've noticed these sounds when you open your mouth wide, you should schedule a visit with your dental care provider.
There are many possible causes of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, but the common element among them is that the condition is symptomatic of a problem with the joints themselves. The condition may be the result of misalignment of the teeth, trauma such as excessive gum chewing or an automobile accident, bruxism, or a genetic predisposition to arthritis in the soft tissues that cushion the joints. Certain activities can worsen symptoms and make TMJ disorder more difficult to manage, including chewing gum, biting the nails, eating hard foods, clenching the teeth, or using your teeth to open packages. If you've noticed pain or discomfort in your jaw, it's important to discuss these symptoms with your dentist as soon as possible. Many cases of TMJ disorder can be managed effectively with conservative treatments. However, if left untreated, advanced stages of this condition can require surgical intervention, which can't always be reversed.
To learn more about TMD, visit G. Larry Leonakis, DDS, at 371 S Roop St, Carson City, NV 89701. Call us at (775) 882-0635 for appointments.