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TMJ DIsorder – Frequently Asked questions

What are the Symptoms of TMD?

Pain and tenderness of the ear, jaw, jaw joints and facial muscles.

Headaches, temple pain

Throat pain

Pain with opening and closing of jaw

Pain with chewing

Neck, shoulder, back and arm pain

Clicking, popping and grating noises in the jaw joint when jaw opens/closes or during chewing  

What causes TMD?

There can be many causes, including trauma to the jaw, Arthritis in the joint, Bruxism (which is teeth clenching or grinding), and or other neck conditions.  It can be very painful and debilitating, and must be managed patiently over time. TMD is not a curable condition, but is one that can be lessened in its symptoms with proper treatment and information given to patients.

Is TMD treatable?

The simple answer is yes, it is manageable. Some courses of action include changes in oral habits such as being mindful of clenching of teeth during the day, wearing an occlusal nightguard at night made by your dentist, limiting the amount of sticky foods like chewing gum, and other foods that may be hard and crunchy as well during a flare up.  Another good treatment is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs during pain and discomfort, limiting caffeine in your diet, bite correction  and in extreme cases surgery may be one option, usually as a last resort.