Are you having unexplained pain in your face, neck, or shoulders? Do you hear a popping or clicking sound when you open your mouth? Have you experienced jaw soreness or pain when you wake up and you don’t know why? These symptoms have something in common.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) applies to any pain or dysfunction involving the movement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles that control chewing. The TMJ acts as a hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull. You can feel the movement of the joint by putting your fingers in front of your ears on both sides and gently opening and closing your mouth.
Pain caused by TMD usually starts in the jaw but can move to different areas, such as the ears, eyes, neck, and shoulders. If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of TMD, click here to take our TMD quiz.
Causes of TMD
- Jaw injury
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Dental procedures
- Autoimmune diseases
Possible Consequences of Delaying Treatment
- Severe headaches
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, or back
- Jaw lock
- Jaw pain and popping
- Tooth pain
- Fractured teeth
- Dislocated jaw
Also, asymmetrical muscle development and function can occur because the patient uses one side of the mouth to chew. Chewing on one side can cause swelling on that side of your face due to improper jaw use. Grinding your teeth and jaw clenching can wear down the enamel on your teeth, which makes you prone to tooth decay, plaque buildup, and gum disease.
Does any of this sound familiar? If you’re having any of these problems, don’t suffer needlessly. There are several treatment options available to help, such as occlusal devices or orthodontic treatment.
I’ve trained extensively at the TMJ and Sleep Therapy International Center. I can assess the symptoms and pain you’re having and prepare an appropriate treatment plan for you. Contact my office to schedule an evaluation.