TMJ / TMD
Your lower jaw works like a hinge and is responsible for most of the work your mouth does. This includes talking, chewing, yawning and etc. Anything you do that moves your jaw up and down or side to side is affected by your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)—located in front of your ear. The problems that arise in your TMJ can be caused from Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). It’s important to know TMJ is your joint, and TMD is the disorder that affects the joint. TMD can be caused from multiple reasons:
•Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth
•Arthritis in your TMJ
•Stress causing tightening of your facial and jaw muscles
•The disk that acts as a cushion located in between the socket and ball of TMJ has moved
TMD can occasionally be a temporary problem, going away on its own. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, it won’t. It usually occurs in people around the age of 40, buts it’s also been found in younger people. Women are also more likely to experience it than men. Whether it’s recent or has been happening for a longer time, you should seek treatment if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms. Treating it will prevent any damage from happening to your teeth.
Symptoms of TMD Include:
•Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing your jaw
•Experiencing lock jaw
•Uncomfortable and painful chewing or biting
•Tenderness in the shoulders, neck and face
•Trouble opening mouth all the way
•Dizziness and ear aches
These symptoms can affect daily life, leaving you uncomfortable and in pain most of the time. If left untreated, TMD can lead to tooth loss, chronic pain, damage to muscles and ligaments, and jaw deformities. Luckily there are solutions available to you at Dr. Preziosi’s office.
Dr. Preziosi will examine your joints in your mouth and jaw for tenderness to figure out what’s causing your TMD and determine what the best solution for you is. He will also listen to your jaw as it moves around. It’s possible you may need to get x-rays or an MRI if it can’t be diagnosed. In some cases, treatment might include eating soft foods and taking an anti-inflammatory until your pain subsides. If that doesn’t help, common solutions for TMD include something as simple as a mouth guard to stop your teeth from grinding at night, or if your bite is irregular, Dr. Preziosi might recommend bridgework or crowns. In rare cases, you would need surgery for an effective treatment. During your diagnosis, Dr. Preziosi will determine the severity of your condition and advise the necessary treatment.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of TMD, contact us today at (908) 654-7100 to schedule an appointment to prevent your teeth from gaining further damage. If you prefer, you can fill out our online contact form or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
To learn more, read our other pages/blogs: