Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, call our office. We can help indicate the presence of TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.
There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMD from becoming more severe, or to prevent it from occurring:
- Relax your face — remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Heat therapy: moist heat pad/towel 20 min on & 20 min off
- Take Advil for discomfort as needed. Advil is an anti-inflammatory that alleviates inflmmatory process occuring with musclar pain from TMD. Tylenol can be taken if you are not able to take Advil, but Tylenol does not work as well as Advil
- Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Avoid opening your mouth wide
- Chew softer food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared