Similar to the various species of flowers that exist, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) span a wide spectrum for symptoms. From the shoulders, neck, head, jaw, teeth, and associated muscles and nerves, pain and discomfort can develop due to an irritated or misaligned temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The ache or soreness caused by TMD isn’t worth waiting to see if the condition will disappear on its own. Not only do symptoms vary, but the recurrence of those symptoms differ per patient. Dr. Hussong and our team at Cornerstone Dental answer some frequently asked questions about your potential TMJ Disorders.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is TMJ/TMD?
Your temporomandibular joints are located directly in front of your ears. The joints actually connect your jawbone (mandibular) to a portion of your skull (temporal). A complex hinge allows for your jaw to maneuver, achieving activities, such as: chewing, yawning, and speaking. The actual disorders involved with your TMJ vary per patient, but all cause similar affects: pain, discomfort, or irritation.
How Does TMD cause pain and discomfort?
TMD is associated with two joints and their various associated muscles and nerves throughout the face, skull, neck, shoulders, and sometimes back and fingers. Since an extensive list of symptoms exist for TMD, your doctor will complete a thorough examination to determine first if you have TMD. Second, the specific symptom or set of symptoms will be identified to best treat your condition. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Pain or tenderness in face, jaw, neck, shoulders, or head
- Difficulty with biting, chewing, speaking, or yawning
- Popping, clicking, or catching when you open or close jaw
- Ache or soreness near ear when engaging your jaw joints
How can temporomandibular joint disorders be treated if they’re so diverse?
Your doctor will thoroughly examine your condition. In most cases, a mouthguard or physical therapy can correct your irruption and put you on the road to recovery. Some patients require either over the counter pain relievers, or prescribed pain medication to endure the discomfort. However, Dr. Hussong’s goal is to correct your condition and move you on to a healthier, pain-free lifestyle.
How Can Someone Benefit From Relieving TMD?
The first and foremost benefit is pain, discomfort, or ache relief. After that, the benefits vary per patient. However, most patients will experience a more enjoyable daily life experience absent of irritation. Previously garnished speaking, chewing, or yawning activities will slowly return.
About Dr. Hussong
At Cornerstone Dental: Ryan Hussong, DDS is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. Whether your smile is in the grips of a dental disease, or you simply want to learn more about protecting your family’s smiles, Dr. Hussong has the experience to help you protect, preserve, and restore your oral health. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental office today at (515) 984-6001.