Are you suffering from painful headaches daily? Does your jaw embarrassingly click when you eat? You probably are constantly wondering what is wrong, and we may have an answer for you. You could very well be suffering from TMJ/ TMD symptoms. The source of your symptoms may be related to one or both of your temporomandibular (TM) joints. These are the joints that work together with a complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones, to make your mouth move when eating or talking.

TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) refers to a disorder of the misalignment of the jaw. You may also hear it called TMJ, after the joint, but the real name is TMD.

This causes normal tasks like yawning and chewing to be painful and difficult. If you are suffering from unexplained migraines or jaw popping, it is important to see your All Smiles Dentist to have your condition looked at and diagnosed.

Symptoms of TMD:
· headaches
· neck aches
· ear pain
· tenderness of the jaw
· jaw pain or soreness that is more frequent in the morning or late afternoon
· pain when chewing, biting or yawning
· popping noises when opening the mouth
· sensitive teeth with no other prevalent dental issues

What causes TMD?

· Arthritis
· Improper bite (how teeth fit together)
· Jaw dislocation or injury
· Stress

How is TMD treated?

Diagnosis is an important first step before treatment. However, because the exact causes and symptoms of TMD are not always clear, diagnosing these disorders can be difficult. There is not currently one test that dentists can perform to diagnosis this disorder. Scientists are currently researching how behavioral, psychological and physical factors may cause TMD.

A couple treatment options may include:

TeethRe-Alignment: .An adjustment, including orthodontic treatment, to correct teeth alignment may help your TMD habits and symptoms.

Wearing a Night Guard: A night guard prescribed by your dentist may help prevent your teeth from grinding during sleep.

 What to do:

If you think you may have TMD, keep in mind that for most people, discomfort from TMD will eventually go away whether treated or not and if treated you probably will get better. Do not stress even more, as stress can make your symptoms worse. Here are a few tips to help with symptoms:

· Avoid food that requires excess chewing or jaw stretching, like tough meat or large sandwiches.
· Massage the affected areas when pain is present.
· Modifying the pain.You can try resting the joint, taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, or applying a warm, wet towel to the painful areas. The moist heat should relax the painful muscles.
· Relaxation. Biofeedback training may help to manage stress and increase relaxation.

The most important thing to do is see your All Smiles Dentist and ask about TMD/TMJ and tell them your symptoms.