The temporomandibular joint is a hinge connecting your lower jawbone to the temporal bones of your skull, located in front of your ears. This joint allows you to move your jaw back and forth and side to side and makes chewing, talking, and yawning possible.
If you are experiencing problems with jaw movement or the facial muscles controlling it, you may have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). In some cases, chronic facial and neck pain can be attributed to TMD.
SYMPTOMS OF TMD INCLUDE:
- Inability or difficulty opening mouth wide
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint, or around the ear when you chew, speak or open your mouth
- Jaw gets “stuck” or “locked” in either the open or closed position
- Jaw pops or clicks when moved
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- Uncomfortable bite, as if teeth do not fit together properly
Please let us know if you are experiencing any of these symptoms at your next appointment. We will create a customized treatment plan to help address and relieve your TMD symptoms.
NOT ALL JAW PAIN IS ASSOCIATED WITH TMD
If you think you are experiencing symptoms related to TMD, it is always important to get your dentist’s opinion first. Not all jaw pain is associated with TMD and can be relieved or prevented in many different ways.
- Use a relaxed face – lips together, teeth apart
- Prevent tooth grinding
- Avoid chewing gum
- Hold your phone to your ear instead of cradling it between your head and shoulder
- Use both sides of your mouth to chew food
- Avoid resting your chin on your hand
- Maintain good posture – keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared.
Please contact our office to schedule an exam if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and feel concerned about TMD.