As a condition that affects 10 to 30 million Americans every year, TMD is a common problem that takes up a large share of dental consultations almost every day.
Year after year, this condition causes havoc on the dental health of many Americans in a variety of ways that range from mild tenderness to painful soreness. Even though it’s extremely common, the main problem with TMD is that it tends to be treated poorly because patients don’t know enough about it.
Everything you need to know about TMD
In terms of the condition itself, it’s best to understand that it is still complex, but that doesn’t mean it’s too difficult to understand in full detail to act accordingly. If you suspect that you have TMD or need to stock up on an adequate knowledge so that you’re best prepared, here’s everything you need to know about the condition in further detail:
What is this condition?
Although it may be quite broad in most cases, TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) is best defined as a condition that involves pain or tenderness related to jaw movements.
Not to be confused with TMJ, this condition mainly affects the muscles and joints (or each of them separately) that are responsible for moving the jaw. Yet, it’s best to understand that the pain isn’t limited to it. A vital aspect to consider about the disorder is that experts are trained to identify it, but a full cure has yet to be developed or discovered, so regular treatment is best practiced.
As opposed to TMJ, TMD is different because it is interlinked with the translational movement of the temporomandibular joint, meaning that the condition is a misalignment of the jaw.
What are the different symptoms associated with TMD?
The main sign to watch out for when validating whether or not you have this disorder is a pain in the jaw muscles or joints. This discomfort or pain can manifest in various forms, such as general jaw pain, jaw popping, pain when you chew, soreness, or pain when you open your mouth wide, and jaw clicking.
Beyond the jaw, however, this condition can also create soreness in areas that extend over to other parts of the body. In some cases, the disorder can also cause pain in the face, neck, eyes, and head, yet the full extent of pain beyond the jaw has yet to be clarified and established.
A quick way to test your jaw for the presence of TMD
If you’re looking to quickly determine whether or not you suffer from the condition, here’s a quick three-step procedure you can follow for a diagnosis:
- Place your finger over the joint in front of your ear
- Open your jaw slightly or halfway
- Once your jaw is rested in a slight-open position, open wide until you feel the join move
If you experience a clicking, grating, or crackling noise or tenderness when you press on the area, then chances of you having the condition are high.
What should you do if you have TMD?
Regarding finding a cure or seeking relief, the best approach to follow is by seeking professional help from a professional dentist. By seeking the help of an expert, you’ll be able to establish a proper pain relief routine and be prescribed various treatments and medicines that can be used to alleviate the condition!
Although TMD may be quite common and still not have a definite cure associated with it, it’s still essential to understand the condition fully so that you can act accordingly. By taking this guide into mind, it will be much easier to understand, minimize, and effectively act on the discomfort or pain that comes with the condition right away!
We’re a team of family dentists in Chattanooga with more than 75 years of collective experience in handling TMJ treatments, white teeth covers, dentures, tooth extractions, and dental plans. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!