Temporomandibular joint disease (TMD), a dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is becoming more of a problem. The disorder causes pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and the muscles that move the jaw.
Many people have pain in their jaw and its muscles, though that does not always signify a problem. Most of the time the pain is temporary and goes away without any help from us.
However, sufferers of TMD have other symptoms. They may have pain in their jaw, face, and even their ears. Many suffer from headaches. Some people even experience pain in their neck and dizziness. Most people complain that they have trouble eating along with an uncomfortable bite.
Most of the time people are able to treat the symptoms by themselves at home. They may use over-the-counter pain relievers along with ice packs to help dull the pain. However, there are times when you need to see a dentist.
Dentists will do a thorough examination and then decide the best way to help you. Mouth guards, (when you clench your jaw) or at night (when you grind your teeth), can be very helpful. There are times when other treatments maybe necessary.
If you are suffering from TMD or think you are, take our quiz below, if you answered yes to any of the questions and are having pain, now maybe the time seek some professional advice.
- Do you suffer from pain in the joints of your jaw when you open or close?
- Do the joints of your jaw pop, click or make noises when you open or close?
- Does your lower jaw ever lock in an open or closed position?
- Are there ever any times when you cannot open our jaw as wide as normal?
- Do you wake up in the morning with a feeling of soreness in the joints of your jaw?
- Do you wake up in the morning with soreness or pain in the muscles of the face?
- Do you suffer from frequent headaches or facial pain?
- Are the muscles near your temples and under your cheekbones, tight or painful when you wake up in the morning?
- Are your teeth sensitive to cold objects in general?
- Do you have any particular teeth that are more sensitive than others to cold objects?
- Are your teeth very sensitive to sweets?
- Do some of your teeth just start throbbing or aching after you have been chewing for a while?
- Do you have, or have you been told that you have gums that are receding?
- Have you noticed a shallow “notch” along the gumline of any of your teeth, especially those whose gums have receded?
- Have you had recent restorations which have failed, such as broken fillings, cracked teeth, crowns that have come loose, etc?
- Do any of your teeth feel loose or wiggly?
- Do your teeth feel as if they don’t “fit together” properly when you bite down sometimes or all the time?
- Do your front six teeth appear very worn down on the edges?
- Are your front teeth frequently chipping or breaking along the edges?
- Have you lost any back teeth over the years, causing tipping or moving of the remaining teeth?
- Do you wear, or have you ever worn a bite guard or some kind of appliance for the treatment of TMJ?