Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, or TMD, are problems and pain associated with the joints and muscles attached to your lower jaw. TMD is often mistakenly referred to as TMJ because of the the temporomandibular joint, which is affected by TMD. These disorders can affect your ability to chew, and in some cases, even fully open your mouth. While it’s hard to distinguish the difference between one of these disorders and common jaw pain, it’s estimated that nearly 10 million Americans currently deal with a TMJ disorder, and it tends to affect more women than men.
While experts are still unsure of the causes of TMJ/TMD, many dentists have narrowed down the main triggers that lead to TMJ disorders. Contrary to a popular belief, experts say that braces and other orthodontic work is not a proven cause of TMJ/TMD. Most dentists agree that the leading causes of TMJ disorder include:
Grinding or clenching teeth, which causes overwhelming pressure on the temporomandibular joint
Jaw injuries due to whiplash or a heavy hits to the face
Arthritis of the TMJ
Abnormal teeth alignment such as overbites and underbites
For some lucky individuals, the symptoms of TMJ/TMD will simply fade over time. But for those with recurring and consistent pain, there are solutions that can help you to find relief. Most dental experts urge sufferers not to take drastic or permanent measures to try to overcome your TMJ disorder. Although visiting your dentist should be a priority, here are a few things that can help you to find relief in the meantime:
Avoid hard/chewy foods
Over-the-counter pain medications
Minimize large jaw movements such as yelling and yawning
If you think your migraines or jaw pain might be from TMJ disorder, then it’s time to make a change. Call (877) 630-7410 today to schedule an appointment with Royal Oak dentist, Dr. Larry Duffield.
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