Select Language: English | Espanol

About “TMD” – its Signs and Conditions

Posted under Gum Disease on April 22nd, 2014 | No Comments

I recently met a new patient who suffers from chronic arthritis. She is in so much pain, that she clenches all the time, hence her TMD manifestation. We will discuss TMD a little more in depth later. This new patient inspires this short blog. I hope you enjoy.

Temporomandipular disorder or “TMD” as it is commonly known is a dysfunctional condition of the joints that affects between 5 and 10 percent of the population.  This statistic was released by the National Institute of Craniofacial Research following a study of the painful condition. Therefore, it could be considered an important factor that any indications of its presence are recognized!

“TMD” which for reasons undetermined is more prevalent in women, can be caused by a traumatic situation, such as an injury, a dislocation or even biting wrongly, which has an effect on the muscles associated with your chewing action. This can be shown by stress patterns such as grinding the teeth or jaw clenching that aggravates the situation. Some indications that can be attributed to “TMD” include pain in the jaw when biting, chewing or yawning, difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, or clicking sounds when doing so.

Neck pain or headaches and ear aches not associated with any injury or apparent condition can be signs worth checking with your dentist. They will conduct a thorough examination of the joints, muscles and movement of your jaw or recommend appropriate treatment. In many cases, “TMD” can be treated with normal lifestyle changes, for example; a soft foods diet, or relaxation and stress relief. In some instances, there may be a need for therapy exercises, designed to strengthen the jaw muscles.

Temporomandipular disorder or “TMD” may be in some instances a recurring condition associated with stress situations. It is therefore, advisable for your general wellbeing and peace of mind that should you experience any of the foregoing, or associated symptoms, you make regular visits to your dentist for a check up. This will enable them to monitor and manage any symptoms and help ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If you suspect you have TMD, please do not hesitate to ask me about it at  your next recare visit with us.