Do you know what is the most persistently used joint in the body? If you answered the temporomandibular joint, then you are correct! Without this joint, which connects the lower jaw with the skull, we would not be able to open our mouths to eat, chew, breath, or talk. It is possible to experience discomfort in this joint as well as near your ears, in your jaws, or in the muscles on the sides of your face. If you are experiencing this discomfort, you might be suffering from TMD.
What is TMD?
TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorder, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint and its adjoining muscles. These joints are located directly in front of the ears (you can feel them moving when you open your mouth wide) and they make it possible for us to move our jaws forward and sideways. For some patients, TMD may not be very serious, and it could go away without treatment. However, in other instances, it may be serious and can grow into a long-lasting issue. For example, the jaw may feel extremely uncomfortable or the way your jaw moves can be quite restricting. Chewing and speaking may become very difficult.
Some Sources of Relief
There isn’t one therapy that works for everyone because the causes of TMD vary from one patient to the next, creating unique circumstances for each person. Pain relievers, softer foods, and gentle facial stretching exercises can reduce the discomfort associated with this disorder.
Diagnosis is the first step so that a custom treatment plan can be created for you. Your treatment could require changes in lifestyle, a breathing device, or a dental appliance to address issues with your bite, teeth grinding or muscle clenching. With a treatment plan, you can look forward to relief from pain and improved concentration. You should begin to have restful sleep and find yourself enjoying an improved quality of life following treatment.
If you suffer from facial and jaw pain, it could be TMD. Contact our office and schedule your examination so we can work together to get you the pain relief you deserve. We are happy to serve Canton, Mississippi and the surrounding area.