TMD/TMJ: Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Causes, Symptoms, and Remedy
Get the information from your North York dentist
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMD/TMJ is a medical condition of the jaw where you may experience your joints not moving as they should or getting out of line when talking, eating, or laughing. Temporomandibular Joints are responsible for the movement of your jaw side to side, up and down, and back and forth so you can chew, talk, and yawn.
What Causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
While the actual cause of TMD is still unclear, dentists believe that the symptoms and signs arise with the parts of the joint or from the muscles of your jaw. Injuries to the muscles of your neck and head, the joint, or the jaw – like from whiplash or a heavy blow – can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Some other causes may include:
- Stress, which can make clench the teeth, or tighten the jaw and facial muscles
- Arthritis in the joint
- Movement of the disc between the socket and ball of the joint
- Clenching or grinding your teeth that puts pressure on the joint
- Bad bite that will stress the muscles and cause muscle hyperactivity
Common Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD/TMJ)
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder often causes discomfort and pain, and according to the North York dentists, it can last for many years or can be temporary. TMD can affect one or both sides of your face. It is found that women suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder more than men do, and it is common in people aged between 20 and 40 years.
The symptoms may include:
- Swelling on either side of your face
- Sudden uncomfortable bite or trouble chewing, as if the lower and upper teeth are not fitting properly
- A tired feeling in your face
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds in the jaw when eating and talking
- Jaws getting locked or stuck in the closed-mouth or open mouth position
- Problems when you open your mouth wide
Apart from these symptoms, you may also experience
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Upper shoulder pain
- Hearing problems
- Neck aches
Treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it’s important to contact your North York dentist to schedule a comprehensive oral exam.
There are however certain things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of TMD/TMJ while you are waiting for treatment.
#1 Eat Soft Foods
Since chewing can be difficult in such circumstances, you can focus more on adding soft foods such as cooked fruits and vegetable, fish, scrambled eggs, soup, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, and yogurt, among others, to your daily menu. Chew less and cut food into smaller pieces. Avoid crunchy foods, chewy foods that can make your jaw work harder.
#2 Use Cold or Moist Heat Packs
Apply ice pack on the affected jaw area to reduce the pain. You may also be suggested to perform simple jaw exercises from your dentist. Once done, you can apply moist heat packs to your face. It will help with faster recovery.
If you are experiencing any discomfort caused by TMJ/TMD, give Lawrence Park Dental in North York a call today.