“Why does my jaw hurt?”
Do you have pain in or around your jaw joint? Does your jaw get “stuck”? Do you have painful clicking or popping? Are frequent headaches or migraines a problem? If so, you may want to ask your dentist about temporomandibular disorders also known as TMD’s.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint which allows you to open/close your mouth and slide your jaw from side to side. Because this joint is so complex, it can develop a number of problems.
What Causes TMD?
Diseases that affect the muscle or joints like arthritis
Injury to the jaw joint or connective tissue (sports injury, car accident, trauma to the face, etc)
Continuous movement of the teeth and jaw like grinding or clenching.
Diagnosis of TMD
Signs and symptoms of TMD can include pain in or around the ear, pain when chewing, tender jaw muscles, painful clicking or popping when opening or closing the jaw, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, pain when opening your mouth wide, and headaches, facial or even neck pain.
It is difficult to identify the cause of TMD’s. Treatment typically focuses on relieving the symptoms associated with the disorder. There are a few things you can try that might help.
- Eat softer foods
- Limit wide jaw movements
- Avoid chewing gum or biting down on anything hard
- Apply warm, moist compresses to the area
- Exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles
- Medications like relaxants, pain medicine, anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-inflammatory medications
- A nightguard or bite plate to decrease clenching or grinding of teeth during sleep.
If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of TMD, please contact us at 920-233-6001 or email to [email protected] with any questions, or to schedule a consultation.