The Signs and Symptoms of TMD

Apr 28, 2021
The Signs and Symptoms of TMD
A temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can be a painful experience for any patient.

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.

What Causes TMD

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.

The Symptoms of TMD

If you are worried TMD may be affecting you, here are the signs and symptoms to look out for.

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain in your temporomandibular or jaw joints
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Pain while chewing
  • Aches or pain in your face that can spread behind your eyes
  • Locking of the jaw that makes it difficult to open or close your mouth

Treatments for TMD

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:

  • Physical therapy
  • Relaxation methods and stress management techniques
  • Mouth guards to reduce teeth grinding
  • Posture training
  • Ice packs or heat therapy
  • Diet changes
  • In some cases, surgery could be required to ultimately treat the condition.

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.