TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome) is a condition created by a number of factors including a bad bite or habits such as clenching or grinding, often due to stress.
The patient with a TMJ disorder (also referred to as TMD) can have clicking in the jaw joint, jaw joint pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, or any number of other related symptoms.
Sometimes, in severe cases, the person with TMJ will be unable to open his or her mouth wide, or will hear clicking, cracking or a "pop" upon opening their moth. Headaches are also commonly an associated symptom.
Often, patients report the onset of TMJ occurring with some sort of unusual stress, such as final exams, or job-related issues. In a large segment of the population, stress leads to clenching or grinding (known as bruxism), either during the day or at night. Some people demonstrate this habit without a known cause, including children.
Sometimes these patients will seek treatment from their general physician, or an "ear-nose-and-throat" specialist, before coming to the dentist to be seen.
The first line of defense against TMD is simply to wear a nightguard. This simple treatment often corrects the problem. If not, other treatments options are available which our team at Family Dental would be pleased to discus with you.