TMD is the name for a variety of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the nerves surrounding it. This is the point where the jaw opens and closes, connecting the lower jaw to the skull and facilitating chewing and speaking.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chronic facial pain
- Neck pain
- Facial muscle spasms
- Tenderness around the jaw
- Popping or clicking upon opening or closing the mouth
- Jaw locks open or closed
1 in every 4 people suffers from TMJ/TMD
The cause of TMJ is not fully understood, but is often related to injury such as whiplash or a fall, severe stress, improper bite, or arthritis. Clenching or grinding (called bruxism) can also be to blame. Many times TMD is misdiagnosed as migraines.
Left untreated, TMJ symptoms can lead to debilitating pain and discomfort. Postponement of treatment also typically results in further damage to the joint, muscles, or teeth. Unfortunately if you ignore it, it does not go away. Early treatment is critical!
Dr. Arhiri can conduct a thorough exam to confirm a TMD diagnosis. Treatment may be simple or require several steps. Sometimes, simple changes in diet and sleeping can garner relief. In more advanced cases, a patient may require muscle relaxers, a night guard, restoration of certain teeth, orthodontics, or permanent appliances. Surgery is a last resort and only needed in about 3% of all cases.
For more information on how Premier Smiles can help you with TMJ/TMD problems, call 610-647-7611 today.