Your Jaw Joint
Your TMJ is a hinge. It looks much like a sliding hinge. You have one of these sliding hinges on each side of your jaw, and that’s what allows your jaw to open and close. In between the edges of your sliding hinge is a disc of fibers. That disc gives your joint the freedom to move around and not cause you pain. Sometimes, your jaw joint gets inflamed, and when it does, it makes your jaw painful to move around, or open and close.
What Is TMD?
People with TMD have trouble with either one of their jaw joints. There are several symptoms you might have if you have TMD. You may be in pain when you open or close your mouth, and you might even have trouble opening or closing your mouth completely. People with TMD also have frequent headaches. They might have sore jaws or pain in the muscles of their jaws. You might only feel pain when you bite down or yawn deeply. People who have pain in their jaw joints might also feel clicking, popping, or snapping when they open their jaws, especially when they are chewing.
While there are a lot of reasons why you might have TMD, there is no definite reason people get the disorder. People with arthritis are more likely to have symptoms of TMD. More women than men tend to have TMD, and this is especially true if you are a woman who has had children. If you have had problems with your bite when you were younger, you are more likely to have issues with your bite later. There are a couple of other reasons people may have problems with their jaw joint. First, people who clench or grind their teeth are more likely to have TMD. Also, if you are involved in an accident, and you get a blow to the jaw, you might also be more likely to get TMD.
Treatment for TMD
We can help with the treatment of TMD in several different ways. If you are in pain, we may tell you to take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the inflammation. There are also exercises you can do for your jaw to make it stronger. If you have bruxism, and you clench or grind your jaw, there are mouthguards and nightguards we can make for you. You may also want to try anti-anxiety medication to help with the symptoms of TMD.
Are you having trouble with your jaw? We can help! Give Dynamic Dental Care a call at (509) 466-2587. Let us talk to you about things we can do to help you - and your jaw - feel better. Contact us today.