TMJD – Not Just Jaw Pain

If you have are having a lot of jaw pain, clicking or popping when you open your mouth, or recurring headaches and migraines, you could have Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD or TMJD. With these symptoms, the disorder often goes unnoticed, or undiagnosed.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge where your jaw connects to your skull, and is responsible for all of your talking, yawning, chewing, etc. Things like a heavy blow to the jaw, arthritis, excessive clenching and grinding of the teeth, or even stress can cause the muscles around the TMJ to tighten up and cause a lot of pain. This is what is believed to be the cause of TMJD symptoms, though the cause of the actual disorder is unknown.

Living with TMJD can be uncomfortable or even painful at times, but it can often be managed. Learning relaxation techniques, and making sure to not put extra stress on the joint can greatly reduce the symptoms. Over-the-counter pain killers can also help, though they should be used with moderation, so as not to cover up other pains and problems that may be occurring. TMJD may not have any immediate health risks, but suffering from the symptoms for an extended amount of time can greatly contribute to sleep loss, anxiety, stress or even depression.

Because many of the symptoms can have a variety of causes, it is important to have TMJD diagnosed by a professional. Certified dentists will know what to look for and run the appropriate tests to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms. Along with that, they can provide more extensive solutions to the symptoms, such as special splints or night guards, or prescription medications.

If you are suffering from some or all of the symptoms of TMJD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bezbatchenko today.