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TMJ and TMD: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Do you frequently experience pain in your jaw? You may have temporomandibular joint disorder. The painful condition that affects your jaw is called "TMD." The disorder affects between 5 to 12 percent of the population, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Milford, MA, dentists Dr. Peyman Beigi and Dr. Nina Raeisian offer treatments that can help relieve TMD pain.

Symptoms of TMD

Pain and stiffness in and around your jaw are common symptoms of TMD. The pain may be centered in the jaw hinge joints below your ears or in the muscles of your jaw. Pain may be worse when you first wake up and might intensify when you yawn, speak or chew. You may also notice pain or tension in your upper back and neck muscles. In addition to pain, other symptoms of TMD can include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth
  • Fullness or pain in the ears
  • Tingling or numbness in your face
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble chewing
  • Temporary jaw locking when you open or close your mouth
  • Ringing in the ears, or a popping sensation

TMD causes

It's not always easy to pinpoint an exact cause of TMD, but your risk of developing the disorder may be higher if:

  • You're female.
  • You have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You injured your jaw.
  • You feel stressed.
  • You're between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • You grind or clench your teeth.
  • Your bite is misaligned or your dentures don't fit well.
  • You have a deformity that affects your jaw or face.

TMD treatment

You may benefit by restricting your diet to soft foods for a few days and applying ice or heat to your jaw if you have a mild case of TMD. If your symptoms continue more than a few weeks or cause significant pain, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your Milford dentist.

If your pain is caused by a bite problem or missing teeth, orthodontic treatment or restoration of your teeth with a bridge or dental implants may be recommended. Cortisone injections, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants can help reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness. If your symptoms are due to grinding your teeth, a custom-made nightguard can decrease pressure on your teeth and jaw.

Are you tired of living with TMJ/TMD pain? Call Milford, MA, dentists Dr. Peyman Beigi or Dr. Nina Raeisian at (508) 966-7923 to schedule an appointment.

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