Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as severe, recurring headaches, Do you have chronic face and neck pain, or severe, recurring headaches, but don’t know what the cause is? Millions of Americans are just like you and for many of these patients, the pain may be caused by Temporomandibular Disorder.
The lower jaw is connected to the skull by the the temporomandibular joints. The joints are used often throughout the day. Every time we speak, chew, swallow, or yawn, the TMJ is used. Pain at these joints can be painful and even restrict movement.
TMD symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Earaches, ringing or ear stuffiness
- Head or neck aches
- Popping or clicking when the jaw opens or closes
- Jaw muscle spasms
- Alteration in tooth alignment
- Lock jaw or limited mobility in the jaw
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, discuss it with your doctor at your next appointment. If you have TMD, your doctor can help create a customized treatment plan to provide relief.
Jaw pain doesn’t always equal TMD.
It is important to note that not all jaw pain is necessarily related to TMD. If you are worried you may suffer from TMD, be sure to see a doctor to receive a diagnosis. If you suffer from jaw pain that is not TMD, there are several things you can do to help relieve the pain and ensure your smile stays healthy and strong.
- Relax your face — "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid all gum chewing, and don’t chew on things that are not food./li>
- If you spend a lot of time on the phone, use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear to avoid cradling it between your shoulder and head.
- Make sure you chew on both sides of your mouth
- Sit and stand up straight
TMD is not associated with wearing braces or orthodontic treatment - for a patient suffering from TMD, symptoms can wax and wane whether braces are worn or not. If you believe you may suffer from TMD, please contact our office for a consultation.