Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as severe, recurring headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, also known as TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
If you notice that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, let us know! Dr. Crump can help determine if you have TMD, and what type of treatment is appropriate for you. Frequently, orthodontic treatment to improve the bite is very beneficial in relieving many of the symptoms of TMD.
If the joints are badly deteriorated, an MRI might be recommended to determine if any joint surgery would be indicated in combination with orthodontic treatment.
If you feel that you might have TMD, it is always important to see your dentist and receive an exam.
Help Prevent TMD
If you do not have any of the symptoms listed above,let's keep it that way! there are some simple things you can do every day to maintain healthy, strong joints.
- Relax your face - "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Avoid grinding your teeth. Sometimes a nightguard splint worn every night is an excellent thing!
- Avoid all gum chewing
- Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder - either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture - keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, and may be concerned that you're a candidate for TMD treatment, please contact our office for a complementary initial consultation with Dr. Crump.