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Hertford SG13 7ED

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Treatment

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ disorder, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and forward and backward, facilitating activities like talking, chewing, and yawning.

TMD is a broad term used to describe a range of problems related to the TMJ and the surrounding muscles and tissues. Some common signs and symptoms of TMD include:

  • Jaw pain or discomfort: This may be a dull, aching pain in the jaw joint area or more severe pain that can radiate to the face, neck, and shoulders.
  • Clicking or popping sounds: You may hear noises when you open or close your mouth. These sounds can be caused by various factors, including a displaced disc within the joint.
  • Limited jaw movement: TMD can result in difficulty opening your mouth wide or experiencing locking or "catching" of the jaw.
  • Muscle stiffness: You may experience stiffness or muscle spasms in the jaw, neck, or shoulders.
  • Headaches: TMD can lead to tension headaches, often concentrated around the temples or forehead.
  • Ear pain: Some individuals with TMD report ear pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or a feeling of fullness in the ears.

The exact cause of TMD is often multifactorial and may include factors like teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism), jaw injury, arthritis, stress, poor posture, or an uneven bite. Diagnosing TMD typically involves a thorough evaluation by a dentist or oral and maxillofacial specialist, which may include X-rays or other imaging studies. Treatment for TMD can vary depending on the severity and underlying causes but may include:
  • Lifestyle modifications: This can involve avoiding hard or chewy foods, practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress, and maintaining good posture.
  • Oral appliances: Dentists may recommend the use of oral splints or mouthguards to alleviate symptoms and prevent teeth grinding or clenching.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: Jaw exercises and physical therapy techniques can help improve jaw mobility and reduce muscle tension.
  • Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections into the joint may provide relief from pain and inflammation.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention is typically considered as a last resort for severe cases of TMD that do not respond to other treatments.

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01992 582 945

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