If your dentist has used the term temporomandibular disorder (TMD for short) to describe something you may have, know that it refers to a general umbrella term that encompasses problems with movement and pain in the jaw or surrounding area. To learn more about the problems, symptoms, and causes of TMD, read on.
What Causes Temporomandibular Disorders?
Each of us has two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) – one on each side of the jaw – that act as hinges, connecting the jawbone to the temporal bone of the skull. This joint is very important – it allows us to chew food, talk, and move our mouth around with ease. As such, TMJ treatment can be a vital part of addressing the comfort and mobility of your jaw.
When pain and discomfort occur in this area and the surrounding neck and face regions, the exact cause of temporomandibular disorder isn’t always easy to identify. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to pain and restriction of movement in the jaw, ranging from teeth grinding, injury to the mouth, genetics, or even arthritis.
What are the Symptoms of TMD?
Some of the most common symptoms of temporomandibular disorders include:
- Painful sensation or discomfort in the jaw joint
- Pain and tenderness of entire or focused are of jaw
- Aching around or in the ear
- Surrounding face and neck pain
- Locked/restricted jaw
- Discomfort and trouble with chewing
- Swelling of face
- Clicking sound or a strange feeling when chewing
- Sleep Apnea