Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a group of more than 30 conditions that can cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement. Many TMDs last only a short time and go away on their own. However, in some cases, they can become chronic or last for long periods.
TMDs refer to disorders, and TMJ refers only to the temporomandibular joint. People have two TMJs, one on each side of the jaw. You can feel them by placing your fingers in front of your ears and opening your mouth.
It is important to know that sounds (such as clicking or popping) without pain in the TMJs are common and do not require treatment.
The following are an example of TMD symptoms associated with TMDs:
If you are unsure about any of the symptoms you are experiencing, Schedule an appointment with Dr Daniel Tan & Associates for a consultation and evaluation.
Your dentist will evaluate your symptoms and take a detailed medical history. They will ask questions about your pain, including its location, when it occurs, what makes it better or worse, and if it stays in one area or spreads to other parts of your body.
They will also examine your head, neck, face, and jaw for tenderness; jaw clicking or popping; or difficulty with movement. The dentist might also suggest imaging studies such as an x-ray, MRI or CT scan. Pain in the mouth, jaw, or face may or may not be related to TMDs. Your dentist may have to rule out other conditions before diagnosing a TMD.
Because many jaw joint and muscle problems are temporary and do not get worse, simple, non-surgical TMD treatment may be all that is necessary. When you first feel discomfort in your jaw joints or muscles, your dentist may have you:
If these steps do not help, or if your dentist diagnoses a specific type of TMD in the process of trying them, one or more of the following treatments may be recommended.