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What Is The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)? Everything You Need To Know About TMD
What Is The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
- The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. It is responsible for all the movements of the lower jaw, including chewing and talking. The TMJ is a complex joint that is made up of several different bones and ligaments. It is held together by strong muscles and tendons. The TMJ is what allows us to move our lower jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth. It is one of the most used joints in the body, so it’s no wonder that it can sometimes be susceptible to pain and problems.
Are TMD and TMJ The Same Thing?
- TMD and TMJ are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two different things. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder, while TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorder, is a catch-all phrase used to encompass a wide variety of issues involving the TMJ. Temporomandibular disorders involve any problems with the muscles, ligaments, or bones that surround and support this joint.
What Causes TMD?
- The exact cause of TMD is not known, but several possible factors may contribute to the condition: Teeth grinding or clenching, Misalignment of the teeth or jaws, Arthritis, Injury to the jaw or facial muscles, andStress. While TMD can be a painful and debilitating condition, there are treatments available that can help to relieve the symptoms and restore normal jaw function. If you think you may be suffering from TMD, it is important to see your dentist or doctor for an evaluation. They will be able to determine what is causing your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Symptoms Of TMD
- One of the most common questions we get asked is “What are the symptoms of TMD?”. The causes of TMD are often complex and multi-factorial, but there are some common symptoms that can help give you an idea if you may be suffering from this condition. First and foremost, pain is the most common symptom associated with TMD. This pain can be described in a number of ways, from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing sensations. It can be localized to the jaw area or radiate out into the face, neck, shoulders, or down into the arms. Headaches, neck aches, and ear pain are also very common complaints. Another common symptom is clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth. You may also notice that your jaw feels “locked” or “stuck” in certain positions, making it difficult to fully open or close your mouth. Some people also experience dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and/or vertigo (a sense that you or your surroundings are spinning).
How Do I Know If I Have TMD?
- Many people suffer from jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms that can be attributed to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD. However, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you are suffering from TMD, as the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, consult with a doctor or dentist to see if you may be suffering from TMD: Jaw pain or tenderness, Pain in the neck or shoulders, Headaches, Clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw, Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing, and Swelling on the side of the face. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. TMD can often be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. However, if left untreated, TMD can lead to further complications such as joint damage and chronic pain.
Can TMD Go Away on Its Own?
- In some cases, the condition may resolve on its own. However, it is also possible for TMD to persist or even worsen over time. While there are many effective treatments for TMD, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best treatment approach will depend on the underlying cause of your TMD. It may include pain relief medication, physical therapy, or surgery. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be necessary to achieve long-term relief. So don’t delay – if you think you may be suffering from TMD, make an appointment today! Here at St. George Dental Care, we are happy to help you determine what’s causing your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Give us a call today!
Request an appointment here: https://www.stgeorgedentalcare.com or call St. George Dental Care at (435) 628-9099 for an appointment in our St George office.
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