TMJ Awareness Month
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is one of the most common oral disorders. Many who have the disorder may be unaware that they are living with it. Do you wake up with tenderness in some of your teeth? Perhaps throbbing headaches plague you daily? You may also experience discomfort in your jaw, neck, or shoulders. If you suspect you have TMD, it is important to meet with Shreveport’s dentist, Dr. Ben Kacos, for a diagnosis and treatment plan. November is a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Awareness Month. The more you know about this disorder, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment for it.
Understanding TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be thought of as a hinge, connecting the jaw and the skull on either side of your head. It ensures the smooth opening and closing of your mouth and allows you the full range of motion you need to eat and speak correctly.
The TMJ can sustain damage over time, which can result in a TMJ disorder. Visiting your 71105 dentists can help to get a diagnosis.
Is TMD Serious?
It can be easy to think that TMD is not very serious, as it doesn’t cause the same concerns as you’d see with dental decay like tooth pain that comes and goes. However, dysfunctions of the temporomandibular joint should be taken quite seriously.
The best dentist in Colorado Springs, Dr. Cody Boals, explains some of the concerns patients could face with this disorder.
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth, with the jaw locked in place.
- Tenderness or discomfort in the jaw
- Ear pain
- Tension headaches or migraines
- Stiffness in shoulders and the neck
What can Cause TMD?
There are several potential causes of TMD. This is partially what can make it difficult to diagnose the disorder.
The following are some of the potential causes of temporomandibular disorders that our emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA, says to look out for.
- An injury to the TMJ
- Stress and anxiety
- Misalignment in the bite
- Orthodontia, including traditional braces
- Bruxism, or tooth grinding
- Poor posture
Relieving TMD Discomfort
You can take several steps at home to help relieve some of the symptoms of TMD. Adjust your diet to exclude hard foods that involve a significant amount of chewing. Avoid gum, as this repetitive chewing can cause excessive stress on your TMJ. Massage the TMJ muscles gentle to ease some of the tension. Take the time to learn some techniques for reducing stress and anxiety. An oral appliance can help to control some of the symptoms of TMJ. A consultation with your emergency dentist can help to determine which type of TMD appliance is the best option to meet your specific needs.
Schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Shreveport, LA, to learn more about TMD and what can be done to protect the future of your teeth and gums.