September 12, 2017
You find yourself waking with frequent headaches, making it hard to focus on your day. You also noticed pain and your jaw popping during your last client lunch, which then led to a headache. You’re taking medication regularly with little to no relief. How can you eliminate this debilitating pain? You may be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Here’s what you need to know.
What is TMD?
To understand TMD, you first have to understand your jaw joint. This is one of the most complex joint systems in your body. Your jaw joint allows you to open and close your mouth for eating and talking. You can also move your jaw from side to side for chewing.
When this joint is not functioning properly, it causes pain and a host of issues such as:
- Clicking and popping in your jaw
- Your jaw locking open or closed
- Facial pain
- Pain in your neck and shoulders
- Headaches or migraines
- Tenderness in your jaw muscles
These symptoms can become very debilitating for many patients, but there are solutions for TMD issues.
How is TMD Treated?
The causes of TMD vary greatly, and so does treatment. Many patients respond to therapies like massage or gentle stretching of the jaw. Some patients benefit from wearing an oral appliance or night guard that helps relax jaw muscles and relieves the clenching and grinding that sometimes causes TMD. Other patients may need surgical intervention if their case is severe.
It’s important to work with a dentist who understands that every patient is unique and who can create customized TMD treatment plans tailored to their individual needs. Sometimes a combination of therapies is required to achieve the best results.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from TMD, contact your dentist to learn more about how they can help you, starting with a proper diagnosis.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Hughes has been taking care of patients for 50 years. His reputation is built on his listening ear and caring approach, and he enjoys creating long-term relationships with his patients. Patients will find that Dr. Hughes focuses on offering state-of-the-art dentistry with their comfort in mind.
Dr. Hughes can help patients suffering from TMD, and he’s happy to partner with your primary physician if necessary in order to ensure that you’re receiving the most effective treatment for your needs.
If you’d like to contact Dr. Hughes, he can be reached through our website or by calling 580-238-1015.
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