Think You Might Have TMJ Disorder (TMD)?

Woman holding her cheek. Caption: Pain when moving your jaw might be a sign of TMD.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull. Various disorders of this joint fall under the umbrella terms TMJ, TMJ disorder, or TMD. These disorders include problems with the muscles of the head and neck, the jaw, or the joint itself. Whatever the cause, TMD is often a painful and uncomfortable condition that can limit your ability to speak, eat, and complete daily tasks. Dental Partners of Boston offers diagnosis and relief for sufferers of TMD with TMJ appliances.

What Causes TMJ?

Because TMD is a general term for many conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, the cause can be one or more of several things. Injuries to the head, neck, or jaw can cause TMJ pain, as can arthritis, clenching of the teeth, or stress which tightens the muscles around the joint. Occasionally the soft cushion between the ball and socket of the joint can be displaced. It is impossible to know the source of the pain in any individual case without completing an exam.

How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed?

Symptoms to watch for include pain around the joint or in other areas of the head neck and face. Pay attention, especially to the pain associated with moving your jaw, chewing, or speaking. You should also take note of any difficulty in doing these activities, any noises from your jawbone, swelling in your face, or a change in your bite. All of these are possible signs of TMJ disorder or TMD which you should have checked right away. You can call Dental Partners of Boston for an appointment during our scheduled office hours, or request an appointment online at any time.

During your appointment, our doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms and answer questions about your condition. Your diagnosis is based on your description, observations, tests, and sometimes an X-ray or other imaging procedure. This exam allows us to confirm your TMD and helps us to locate a cause to allow us to offer appropriate treatment.

What Treatments Does Dental Partners of Boston Offer?

The exact treatment for your case depends on the cause of your pain. Treatment can range from simple to aggressive. Our staff includes doctors in multiple specialties who can address a wide range of TMD causes. Whatever the cause, we can help relieve pain and reduce symptoms so that you can eat and speak without pain. Call our office or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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