Posts for tag: TMD
Have you noticed a clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open or close your jaw? As many as 36 million U.S. adults experience this phenomenon in one or both of the joints that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull.
While the sounds may be disconcerting, there’s generally no cause for concern in the absence of other symptoms. They’re most likely caused by a harmless shift in the position of the disk inside each temporomandibular (jaw) joint, and it can diminish or disappear entirely over time. But, if you’re also experiencing persistent discomfort, severe pain, or limited function in your jaw (which can include getting it “stuck” in an opened or closed position), then you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder — part of a complex set of conditions affecting one or both jaw joints, muscles and/or other surrounding tissues. (You may have heard the condition called TMJ, which is actually the abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint itself. Health care professionals prefer TMJD or TMD.)
Depending on the severity, TMD can interfere with your ability to speak, chew and even make facial expressions. The cause is unclear, but genes, gender, environment, stress and behavior are believed to play a role. It can also be symptomatic of a larger medical problem, such as fibromyalgia, which can produce pain all over the body.
Management Options for TMD
TMD traditionally was viewed as a bite problem (malocclusion) requiring mechanical correction — e.g., through orthodontic braces or surgery. But the current therapeutic model approaches TMD as an orthopedic problem (joint inflammation, muscle soreness, strained tendons and ligaments, and disk damage) and favors a sequence of conservative, reversible procedures — hot or cold compresses in the jaw area, soft foods, physical therapy/massage, medication, and/or a bite guard to decrease pressure on jaw joints from tooth clenching and grinding — prior to more aggressive, irreversible treatment alternatives.
If you would like more information about TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Seeking Relief from TMD” and “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”
Do you have residual pain in areas near your cheeks with no idea how to stop it? For many people today, persistent pain near the ears, jaw, or surrounding muscles leaves them without full function of their mouth for normal, everyday activities, leaving them hopeless and in constant discomfort.
Often accompanied with a popping sound and weakened jaw capabilities, cases like these typically are caused by temporomandibular disorders (TMDs), which affect the nearby temporomandibular joints (TMJs). Fortunately, the majority of TMDs are minor and resort to fixing themselves after conservative remedies are applied - but even in cases where your TMJ malady persists, full relief can be experienced through the expert dental care of Charles L. Sours, Jr., D.D.S.!
Take a peek at some important information regarding TMDs below:
What Causes TMDs?
When one (or both) of your TMJs falls victim to orthopedic inflammation, fatigued surrounding muscles, pulled tendons and/or ligaments, or disk problems, chronic TMDs can occur.
TMDs can be largely genetic, surprisingly gender-specific (women are considerably more likely to suffer from TMDs), and often old-age related. In more serious cases, the jaw pain stemming from a TMD could actually be part of a more all-encompassing pain problem known as fibromyalgia, which literally stands for "connective tissue muscle pain," a condition that won't just stop at the jaw if left untreated.
Where Can I Find Relief?
If you've been diagnosed with a TMD, available treatment options for your specific needs can be readily found with Dr. Sours right here in Woodbridge, VA. Temporarily changing your diet to incorporate more soft foods is one common method for overcoming such persistent jaw pain disorders, while using ice on the affected area can also work wonders for relieving your residual oral joint and muscle soreness and its accompanying inflammation. More holistic techniques such as gentle remedial stretching exercises can also make TMDs subside, while muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications can begin to soothe your pain as well.
Regardless of the severity of your TMD pain, understand that it is not life-threatening and, with expert dental care, it can be a thing of the past in no time! Give Dr. Sours a call today at (703) 491-2131 for TMJ relief!