What Should I Know About Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD)?

Albuquerque NM TMJ TreatmentIf you are one of the 15 percent of Americans that regularly suffers from facial pain, jaw pain, earaches, or headaches, you are well aware of how debilitating this type of pain can be. While it could be a result of something else, there’s a good chance that your aches and pains are related to one or both of the temporomandibular, or jaw joints. Simply put, these joints make it possible for individuals to speak and eat. Yet, with a complicated little network of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones, this “joint” can cause a great deal of discomfort. Here’s what you should know about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

To begin, you’ve probably heard temporomandibular joint disorder explained in several ways. For instance, some call it “TMJ,” after the temporomandibular joint, while others refer to it as “TMD,” which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. Because TMD encompasses more than just the joint and better explains symptoms believed to be associated with it, it makes more sense to refer to it as TMD.

A variety of conditions affect the jaw joint, the muscles surrounding it, and the nerves that run through the face and alongside the ear. For instance, individuals may experience pain when they open their mouth to yawn, or when they eat foods that require heavy chewing. Specifically, those with TMD may experience the following:

  • Pain in and around the ear
  • Headaches
  • Neck aches
  • Tenderness in the muscles around the jaw
  • Jaw pain (may be more present in the morning)
  • Jaw pain (while eating)
  • A clicking sound when opening or closing the jaw
  • Sensitive teeth

What Causes TMD?

While the causes of TMD can be related to arthritis, an improper bite, or jaw injury, many believe that lifestyle factors play a role. Stress is one of those factors, which also leads professionals to wonder if psychological or even financial factors may contribute to TMD. This is mostly because individuals clench or grind their teeth when they are under stress, experiencing worry, or feeling depressed. While these causes are not as easy to pinpoint, patients are encouraged to discuss these with their dentist.

ABQ Dentures is Albuquerque’s premier dental practice, led by denture specialists, Dr. Darren C. Norby and Dr. Peter Roukema. When it comes to your smile, we understand that a variety of services are needed for it to look its best. In turn, special care should also be given to the muscles and bones that support your teeth. Therefore, if you are experiencing jaw pain and you believe that it’s related to TMD, we welcome you to call ABQ Dentures today. With the right treatment, we can help eliminate your pain.

Posted on behalf of ABQ Dentures

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