TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. That is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull on each side. Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD, refers to issues affecting the TMJ and the muscles and soft tissues that surround it. Common TMD symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking jaw joint
- Jaw stiffness
- Stuck jaw, open or closed
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Pain in cheeks and temples
Causes of TMD
There are a number of issues that can cause TMD. The most common is subconscious clenching or grinding of the teeth. This usually occurs during sleep or when under high amounts of stress. Patients with this type of TMD may find that their symptoms vary depending on their level of stress.
Other causes of TMD can include:
- Jaw joint disc out of place
- Osteoarthritis damage to joint
- Swelling inside the joint
- Poor posture muscle strain
- Joint inflammation or strain
During your visit, our team will take a detailed dental and medical history. Tell us about any symptoms or injuries to the TMJ area. Be sure to notify us of any chronic illnesses or medications you are taking.
Next, Dr. Van De Walle and Dr. Tompkins will perform a comprehensive exam of your head and neck. We will pay particular attention to the jaw muscles and joints. We may recommend a screening X-ray to rule out other issues. At this point, we can recommend an initial treatment plan in most cases.
Dr. Van De Walle and Dr. Tompkins will recommend a conservative treatment plan based on your individual needs. We can help relieve TMD pain, reduce stiffness, and increase function.
If you have experienced symptoms that may be TMD, contact Van De Walle Family Dentistry for a consultation.