TMJ Dysfunction (TMD) – What is it?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction describes the pain and dysfunction of the muscles that move the jaw and the joints connecting the jaw to the skull. Most people experience pain and some restricted movement of the jaw.
Although TMD is not life threatening, it can seriously impact quality of life because the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage. Up to a quarter of adults are affected by TMD.
At Duncraig Dental Care we can help educate and treat our patients struggling with TMJ Dysfunction. When you have TMJ Dysfunction your jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles may be experiencing symptoms that arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself. At Duncraig Dental Care we will assess your mouth and jaw to determine the best solution for you.
Could my headaches be caused by my jaw?
Headaches are a common symptom and can often occur because of built up tension within the jaw. Other common symptoms of TMD include
- neck aches
- hearing problems
- upper shoulder pain
- ringing in the ears
What is causing my TMJ Dysfunction?
While the cause for TMJ Dysfunction is not always known and can be a combination of a few factors, we have found some consistent trends with patients suffering from this condition. Some of the causes and leading factors include:
- Injury to the jaw- trauma to the temporomandibular joint or muscles of the head and neck such as experiencing a heavy blow or whiplash have been known to develop TMD.
- Bruxism- grinding or clenching the teeth (often at night), puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ.
- Dislocation- the movement or dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
- Osteoarthritis- or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ.
- Stress- we often tighten our facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth when we’re nervous or stressed
- Malocclusion – if our teeth do not meet in the correct position naturally at rest, then this can add extra pressure to the TMJ. This can be due to losing back teeth, grinding down of teeth or sometimes it can be just the way our jaw has developed.