A temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can be a painful experience for any patient. These disorders affect the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints or jaw joints, or the nerves in the face. It can become a chronic condition that keeps the muscles, bones, and joints in the jaw area from working correctly.
TMD is a disorder that affects a large swath of the population. In fact, an estimated 75% of the U.S. population has experienced one or more signs or symptoms of TMD.
With the right treatment, however, the symptoms of TMD can be reduced and patient comfort can be restored.
The cause of TMD can often be difficult to determine. It can range from too much strain on the jaw joints to bruxism — regular involuntary clenching or grinding of teeth — to an injury of the jaw, head, or neck. TMD has also been known to stem from arthritis or displacement of the jaw joint disks. Conditions such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome can make the symptoms of TMD worse and decrease patient comfort even further.
If you are worried TMD may be affecting you, here are the signs and symptoms to look out for.
When you visit your doctor with symptoms of TMD, their priority will be restoring patient comfort. There is a range of treatment options for individuals who experience the disorder and which one is right for you will depend on the symptoms themselves, your age, and your general health. Some of the treatment options include:
If you are experiencing these symptoms and might have TMD, you should visit your doctor as soon as you are able so that you are able to receive treatment quickly and they don’t become more severe.