One of the most pervasive, and painful dental complications, temporomandibular disorders (abbreviated TMD, often mistakenly referred to as TMJ) are caused by problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles. The jaw joint, or temporomandibular joint, is the hinge that connects the lower portion of the jaw to the skull. The joint is flexible and allows the kind of smooth motion necessary for talking, chewing, and yawning. Affinity Dental, your Maryland dentist, is here with the causes and symptoms of TMD.
So What Causes TMD?
Unfortunately, scientists have yet to reach a consensus on the actual cause of the disorder, but there are a few prevailing theories. TMD can be cause d by severe head or neck trauma, usually from whiplash or a heavy blow. TMD can also result from continuous grinding or clenching of your teeth or dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket joint of your jaw. TMD has also been attributed to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the temporomandibular joint, and long term stress, which can cause you to tense your jaw muscles for extended periods of time.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Severe pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear whenever you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide.
- Limited ability to open or move your mouth
- Jaw locking into an open or closed position
- Audible clicking or popping sounds when moving your jaw to speak, chew, or yawn.
- Increased difficulty chewing or a feeling that your teeth have suddenly shifted out of alignment
- Swelling of facial tissues
- Tooth, neck, and head aches
- Hearing problems
- Tinnitus (A ringing sensation in your ears)
If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis then contact your Maryland dentist immediately.
Do You Suspect You Have TMD?
Contact Affinity Dental! Affinity Dental has a wealth of experience in diagnosing and offering a wide variety of treatment options to those suffering from TMD. At Affinity Dental we strive to provide our patients with the personal, professional, quality dental care they need, while making it convenient, painless, and affordable. We offer morning, evening, and weekend hours to accommodate our patients and provide access to care to fit your busy schedule. We’re trained and equipped to tackle any dental problem you have, from routine cleaning to advanced oral surgery.
Contact us by phone at 410-719-7900, or on our website.
Our doctors and staff are dedicated to improving your dental health!