Most people have heard of temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. But many don’t have a full understanding of the condition or its connection to general dentistry. Because of this, patients often go undiagnosed. They live with chronic jaw pain, headaches, and other significant symptoms.
Dr. Matthew Bridges is passionate about patient education to make sure this condition is better understood. Furthermore, at Chisholm Trail Smile Center, he can diagnose and treat temporomandibular disorders with effective, non-invasive care.
If you suffer from the symptoms of TMD, contact our office today.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular disorders are a group of disorders that affect the jaw joints and muscles. In some cases, it may involve joint dysfunction, such as a slipped disc or bone injury. In other cases, muscle inflammation may be the main concern. Patients can also suffer from both joint and muscle problems.
TMD is quite common. An estimated 11 to 12 million US adults suffer from one of these conditions.
What’s the difference between TMJ and TMD?
The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, located on each side of the jaw. TMD is a temporomandibular disorder, affecting those joints.
What causes the condition?
TMD can arise for many different reasons. Facial trauma or injuries to the TMJs are one cause. Excessive jaw strain, due to chronic teeth grinding, can also lead to TMD.
In many cases, the exact cause is unclear, but there are certain risk factors. For instance, women are more likely to suffer than men. Genetics and stress can also play a role.
How long does TMD last?
It can last a few days, a few weeks, or many years. Sometimes it can go away on its own. Quite frequently, however, the condition will flare up periodically, especially in times of stress.
Fortunately, once patients seek treatment, discomfort often disappears after a few days!
Is TMD serious?
These disorders are not life threatening, but they can take a huge toll on your quality of life. Symptoms include:
- Frequent headaches
- Jaw stiffness
- Facial pain
- Ear pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Popping in the jaw joints
- Pain or difficulty when eating
Moreover, temporomandibular disorders can seriously affect your bite and cause lasting damage to your teeth. In severe cases, eating may be restricted, and you could suffer from nutrient deficiency. 75% of surveyed patients report altering their diet in response to jaw pain.
What are my treatment options?
Dr. Bridges typically begins with a combination of simple, convenient treatments. In most cases, he will provide an oral appliance. This will reposition your jaw and alleviate pressure on your TMJs while you sleep. He may also suggest anti-inflammatory medications, jaw exercises, muscle relaxants, and lifestyle changes.
If you have particularly severe TMD, Dr. Bridges may refer you to an orthodontist or oral surgeon.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Bridges Today
Contact us to learn more about TMD and find out what is causing your jaw pain.
You can reach our Duncan, OK, office online, or you can give us a call at 580-255-4880.