Central to the healthy functioning of our mouths and jaws is the temporomandibular joint, the point where the skull joins to your lower jaw, the mandible. At this point can be found an intricate combination of muscles, bone, and connective tissue that, due to its complexity, is susceptible to a range of disorders all classified under TMD. Under this umbrella can be found a range of concerns that commonly present with a number of symptoms that have successfully been treated with a variety of treatments, including surgery.
TMJ disorder is just one of the many concerns addressed by General Dentists
TMJ Disorder Symptoms To Watch Out For
As mentioned previously, the temporomandibular joint is incredibly complex. Complex joints like this are commonly susceptible to a broader range of concerns due to the various ways they can go wrong. In its broadest definition, TMD is pain, clicking, or a failure of the joint to function properly. It stands as one of the most frequently experienced musculoskeletal conditions in patients in the United States. Nearly 12% of everyone in the USA have experienced TMD to one degree or another at some point in their lives. Women tend to present with symptoms more frequently than men, which the following being the most common:
- Soreness In The Jaw
- Radiating shoulder, neck, face, or back pain
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Bruxism (Clenching or grinding of the teeth)
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers
- Changes in bite
- Reduced mouth motions
- Tinnitus or Earache
If you commonly experience any of these symptoms, your next step is to schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine the origin. If TMD is found to be the cause, your dentist may suggest a treatment regimen that will help relieve the symptoms.
Treatment for TMD varies by the cause and symptoms of the condition.
What Treatments Your General Dentist Can Offer You
There are many treatments available for TMD, even at your general dentist. Which options are pursued will depend on your personal preference, medical history, and any allergies or sensitivities you may have to medication. The choice will also be affected by how long you’ve been experiencing your symptoms and how long the condition is expected to continue. TMD is often a temporary condition, especially when the leading cause has been discovered to be stress, which commonly results in Bruxism. You may be guided to rest the joint, receive physical therapy, take over-the-counter pain relievers, and in serious cases, undergo surgery.
In most cases, your dentist will provide the necessary treatment, though in complex cases, outside specialists may be called on to help. This can include the involvement of therapists to help address sources of stress or orthodontic specialist in the event that special devices are necessary to change your bite and eliminate the cause of your TMD. Reach out to your dentist today to arrange an appointment!