Temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMD, is a disorder that affects many people globally. Findings from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimate that over 10 million Americans alone are affected by some form of TMD. Based on this, it is clear that TMD is something that everyone should be aware of and take seriously.
Despite its prevalence as a disorder, many people are unaware what TMD is and what its symptoms include. We are here to quickly and efficiently explain to you what it is, what to look out for, and what to do if you suspect you have TMD.
What You Should Know about TMD
Described in its most simple form, TMD is a disorder that involves jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints (the joint that connects your jawbone and skull), and the surrounding nerves. If your jawbones, muscles, and joints are not working together correctly and are causing you pain, this likely means that you have TMD.
TMD comes in various forms, and it is not always easy to immediately determine the exact cause. The root cause of TMD may involve a variety of factors, including genetics or a jaw injury.
The most common form of TMD will come in the form of myofascial pain. Myofascial pain refers to the physical pain and discomfort in the muscles and connective tissues near your neck, jaw, and shoulders. Additionally, forms of TMD may also include issues related to dislocated jaws or disks, in addition to degenerative joint diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis.
Fortunately, most cases of TMD can be relieved and treated with proper care and treatment. Most people will not require surgery, though some experiencing extreme forms may benefit from doing so.
Signs You May Have TMD
Be on the lookout for these common symptoms to determine if you have TMD:
- Your jaw is locking, clicking, or popping. This is a common symptom and one that should immediately clue you in that you are suffering from TMD.
- You are experiencing limited movement with your jaw and mouth. If you notice that you cannot move your mouth as quickly and fluidly as you were in the past, this could be another symptom.
- Your jaw, while at rest, feels sore or painful. Feeling a sense of discomfort or general soreness in your jaw, especially after you wake up and later in the day, is usually a clear indication that you have TMD.
- Eating causes you discomfort or pain. Chewing requires a considerable amount of effort between your jaw and muscles. An issue with either or both of these could be a clear sign that something is wrong.
- Your teeth are not coming together like they used to. Because your jaw may be dislocated, biting down may result in your teeth not aligning correctly, a common symptom of TMD.
- You are experiencing frequent headaches or dizziness. Naturally, this does not immediately mean that you have TMD if you get headaches or feel dizzy. However, when paired with other symptoms, frequent and intense headaches or a sense of dizziness are often signs that you have TMD.
The Dental Group of Simi Valley Can Help You
If you suspect that you are suffering from TMD, we highly encourage you not to wait until your pain gets more severe and advise you to schedule an appointment with us as soon as you can. While waiting for a little bit of time may seem harmless, symptoms can progressively get worse at a rapid pace. Taking action now can save you a headache, quite literally, in the long run.
Serving Simi Valley, CA, since 1963, The Dental Group of Simi Valley takes pride in providing top-notch care to both you and your teeth. Many people have entrusted us with their teeth and have been pleased. You can see some of their feedback via the numerous five-star reviews on our website.
We hope to help your dental well-being and eliminate any symptoms of TMD you might be experiencing. Please do not hesitate to call us today at (805) 522-6020 to set up an appointment or send us a message on our website. We look forward to helping you keep a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth for years to come.