The temporomandibular joint is the joint between your skull and lower jaw. This joint gives you the ability to open and move your jaw, such as when speaking, chewing, or yawning. When the TMJ joint is impaired, it can cause temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMD. Dentists are still trying to determine the exact cause of TMD but it is believed that it occurs when the TMJ becomes injured in some way. Possible causes include:
- An injury to the area, such from a hit or blow
- Bruxism, which occurs when you grind or clench your teeth at night
- Arthritis in the joint
Although TMD can impact anyone, women are more likely to have the condition. Adults between 20 to 40 years of age are more likely to have TMD.
TMD symptoms can include:
- Impairment of jaw movement
- Popping or click sounds in the jaw region
- Frequent headaches
- Pain the jaw, neck, or shoulders
- Having a locked jaw from time to time
- Poor quality sleep
- Daytime fatigue
- Ringing or hearing impairment
Because TMD’s symptoms are so varied Dr. Sniscak will have to examine your mouth to determine if you have this issue. We will review everything including your dental and medical history as well as your lifestyle. After we have pinpointed the exact cause of your TMD pain we can craft a comprehensive plan to relieve your pain.
For example, TMD caused by teeth grinding or clenching can be treated with a stabilization splint to keep your mouth relaxed and teeth protected. However, if TMD is due to tooth misalignment or bite imbalances, orthodontics may be required.
Contact Smiles By The Sea in Belmar to set up a consultation today.