Affiliated Dentists Logo

TMD – What Is It?

Temporary or Continuous Jaw Pain Can Mean You Have TMD

Well over 15% of adults in America experience jaw pain, facial pain or headaches at some point in their lives. Even those suffering from ear aches know how distracting and upsetting facial pain can be. However, it can all actually stem from something called TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorder.

What Exactly Is TMD?

People commonly refer to this issue as “TMJ,” but TMJ simply stands for the jaw joint, or temporomandibular joint. Temporomandibular disorders (called TMD) happen when the muscles and joints of your jaw experience pain that can be a result of a few different types of issues, from inflammation to a poor bite.

Symptoms of TMD

There are many different types of facial and oral pain. If you suffer from any of the following, schedule an appointment at Affiliated Dentists to have your dentist go over your symptoms to see if you truly suffer from TMD.

  • earaches
  • frequent headaches
  • neck pain, especially around the base of your skull or under your ears
  • a clicking/popping when you open or move your jaw side to side
  • pain when you open your mouth
  • tender muscles in your face, especially your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • your jaw locks when open
  • facial swelling
  • pain in your molars but no cavities present

TMD Causes

There are a few different ways TMD can happen. The most frequent cause is bruxism, or grinding your teeth. This often happens unconsciously, and sometimes even when a patient is asleep. Stress is a common reason people grind their teeth. Other causes of TMD would be injury to the joint, such as a sports injury or a car accident, and arthritis settling into your jaw joint.

Sometimes I Have Facial Pain. Do I Have TMD?

First and foremost, schedule an appointment with your dentist if you have any of the facial pain or symptoms listed above. At your appointment your dentist will go over your symptoms and health history in detail. They will also perform a clinical examination of your head, neck and jaw joints and muscles. They might take x-rays as well. All of this helps them rule out other causes of your facial pain, such as dental cavities that haven’t been taken care of yet, or a sinus infection.

Living With the Diagnosis – What Can I Do?

As stated above, there can be different causes of TMD, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. However, there are a few things that your dentist can recommend to make life less painful for those suffering from it.

You Don’t Have to Live With TMD

Living with daily pain can be stressful and extremely upsetting, regardless of where in your body it is. Together, you and your AD dentist will work to come up with a treatment plan that will get you the most relief possible.

Related Articles

Mission of Mercy

The Wisconsin Dental Association, WDA, was established in 1870 with the idea to advance the interests of WDA members and the dental profession by promoting

Read More »

Dental Implants

Do You Need a Dental Implant? We know dental terminology can get confusing at times.  If you’ve been diagnosed with the need of a dental

Read More »