The temporomandibular joint (“TMJ”) is the joint that allows your jaw to open and close, and allows jaw movement forward, backward, and sideways. The TMJ will only work properly if the lower jaw and its movements are synchronized.
Temporomandibular Disorder (“TMD”) is a condition that can be caused various reasons, including: stressful situations, strenuous physical activities, overuse of the muscles, and grinding of the teeth. TMD affects jaw muscles, the temporomandibular joint, and nerves where jaw movements become out of synch. These habits will wear out the jaw muscles and result in headache and neck pain. TMD can also result in sensitive teeth, injured soft tissues, muscle soreness, and jaw discomfort. Other symptoms include difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and the jaw locking when you talking, yawning or eating.
TMD can be treated. A custom nighttime mouth guard will help stop grinding of teeth. More severe cases can treated with physical therapy, ice and hot packs, and posture training.
TMD is usually cyclical and may return when you experience stress. Come in for an evaluation today - Dr. Walls can recommend the right therapy to alleviate your TMD symptoms.