If you have been in the dark about Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) so far, you’re not alone. Not many people are familiar with this fairly uncommon disorder. Twelve percent of the United States population has been a victim of this disorder. Research shows that women are more likely to be diagnosed with this disorder than men.
What is TMD?
This disorder affects the Temporomandibular Joint which is the jaw joint. The two joints work in as a pair and are in front of each ear. This joint connects the jaw to the skull. Injury or damage sustained to this joint can lead to a localized pain disorder known as TMJ syndrome. TMD disorders on the other hand are more complex series of conditions which are characterized by pain in the jaw joint and the tissues which surround it. There is also difficulty in moving the jaw.
It can impact either one or both of the joints and it hinders the ability to use the mouth for activities that involve the movement of the jaw, such as chewing, swallowing, speaking and even breathing.
What causes TMD?
TMD can be caused by a multitude of factors, and no obvious causes have been pinned to this disorder. There are many different genetic, hormonal and environmental factors that play a role in increasing the risk of TMD. Some common causes which are well known include autoimmune diseases, infections, injuries, and dental procedures, some forms of arthritis and insertion of a breathing tube before a surgical procedure is carried out.
Signs to be wary of
There can be a significant amount pain and discomfort that may be temporary or last over the course of many years. Treatments can vary according to the severity of the condition as well.
Some sounds to look out for
Some symptoms can be painless, such as experiencing an unusual popping, clicking or a grinding noise while any activity that require opening the mouth, such as eating and talking. When such sounds accompany pain in the jaw and difficulty moving the jaw, it might be time to seek medical advice. There can also be buzzing in the ears or a numbness which can cause mild to severe earaches.
This symptom will be hard to miss and will be felt when you attempt to move your jaw. Headaches and migraines, neck pain and back aches are fairly common symptoms. While these are possible symptoms of other disorders as well, for TMD they will most probably be associated to pain in the jaw as well.
If you have experienced any of the aforementioned diseases for TMD, seek dental and medical care immediately. Residents of Virginia Beach can avail Dr. King’s dental services for a thorough evaluation should you experience any of these symptoms. Contact us now for more information.