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If you are suffering from severe pain in your face or jaw, you may be feeling frustrated about not having a diagnosis. It is important that when serious jaw pain is combined with other symptoms, you speak with your dental professional about being assessed for Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). TMDs can include a wide variety of conditions because the term is simply the name for a disorder of your temporomandibular joint, or your TMJ. Your dentist can evaluate your symptoms and help you determine a treatment plan moving forward. Dental Associates of Basking Ridge is here to help when you are suffering from jaw or facial pain. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
What is the Temporomandibular Joint?
The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, in a ball-and-socket connection. It is made up of a condyle (the ball), the glenoid fossa (the socket), and a small disk that sits between the two. If you express concerns about jaw pain to your dentist, they will assess how your jaw movies, evaluate your teeth for any signs of excessive grinding or clenching, and may require that you have an x-ray done to see whether there are any visible issues.
Experts aren’t totally certain on what causes TMDs, but there are a number of factors that contribute to the conditions. Some of the causation factors include the following:
- Jaw trauma, which can occur after an injury to the jaw or as a result of long-term teeth grinding
- Tension and stress that results in muscle spasms
- Tumors on the jaw joint
- Arthritis in the jaw joint
- Misaligned teeth
Symptoms of TMD
There are a number of symptoms that can lead a dentist to diagnose a TMD. Some of these symptoms can include:
- Your jaw getting stuck when you open or close it
- The sound of popping or crackling when you move your jaw
- You have facial muscle spasms that make it challenging to open your mouth
- You feel pain or soreness when chewing, speaking, or opening your mouth
- You experience headaches in certain areas
TMDs include a variety of conditions so once a diagnosis is made, the treatment will be in accordance with the specific condition impacting you. Luckily, many TMDs are temporary and only last a few weeks or months. Unfortunately, there are other conditions that can last years and may be more challenging to treat. Some TMDs, like teeth grinding or clenching, can be solved by getting a night guard that keeps your teeth from hitting each other. Other TMDs can be treated with pain relievers, physical therapy, avoiding hard or crunchy foods, bite adjustment, the replacement of missing teeth, and more. In more severe cases, surgery may be your best option.
Contact Dental Associates of Basking Ridge
If you are suffering from frequent jaw pain or the inability to open and close your mouth properly, you should speak with an experienced dental professional as soon as possible. Our experienced staff and Dental Associates of Basking Ridge are here to help with any TMDs that may be impacting you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dental professionals.