Do I have TMD? What Should I Do?
Do you experience discomfort in your jaws? Does either side of your jaw make a “clicking” sound when you open and close your mouth? Have you ever been unable to completely close your mouth after a huge yawn (or any time) because your jaw seems frozen open? These are just a few of the symptoms you might experience if you have TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Read on to learn more about this sometimes debilitating disorder.
What is TMD?
TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint and its adjoining muscles. These joints are located directly in front of the ears (you can feel them moving when you open your mouth wide), and they make it possible for us to move our jaws forward and sideways. When a patient suffers from TMD, the body responds by causing severe discomfort, and it can be difficult to open your mouth or even eat.
Possible Causes of TMD
Habitual teeth grinding and/or clenching are common causes of TMD. For example, some people respond to stress by tensing up, which can manifest as teeth grinding. Painful spasms and trouble moving the jaw can also be the result of stress. Often, people grind or clench their teeth at night while they are sleeping (bruxism). This involuntary activity puts enormous pressure on the joints, creating inflammation. Other common causes of TMD include trauma to the face, as well as muscle spasms from extreme fatigue.
Simple Steps to Help TMD
If you feel that you are suffering from TMD, it is best to be seen in our office, but there are also some simple steps you can take to help with symptoms:
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Relax your face
- Avoid frequent gum chewing
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Eat softer foods
If you suffer from facial and jaw discomfort, it could be TMD. Contact our office today and schedule your examination so we can work together to get you the relief you deserve. We are happy to serve Canandaigua, NY.