TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is a problem that occurs with the jaw and the facial muscles that control it. The temporomandibular joint is the connection point between the jaw and the temporal bones of the skull. This joint enables the jaw to move up, down, left right, chew, talk, and yawn.
Experts are not certain what specifically causes TMD, but they do believe that symptoms develop when there are issues with the muscles of the jaw or the joint itself. The causes of TMD may include trauma, whiplash, sports injuries, bad dental habits like nail biting, fibromyalgia, arthritis, straining the face muscles, or other stressors that cause a clenched jaw.
Health problems that TMD can cause
- Headaches: Headaches are the top symptom of TMD. The muscle tension created by TMD can cause headaches, migraines, or vascular headaches.
- Numbness: Muscle tension caused by TMD can put undue pressure on the nerves between the neck and shoulder called the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus controls your arm and hand. The pressure in this area can cause numbness and tingle in the arms, hands, and fingers.
- Clicking and popping: If you have a badly aligned bite, the jaw joints can start rubbing together in a way that causes problems. Cartilage typically provides cushioning, but when misalignment occurs, clicking and popping of the jaw may result.
- Neck and back pain: the muscles in your jaw connect to the muscles in your neck and your back. If tension is experienced in the jaw, it will spread to the neck and back. This may result in bad posture or put the neck and back out of alignment.
- Limited jaw movement: If the jaw is too far out of alignment, it can lock or become limited in movement.
- Chipped or loose teeth: If you are consistently chewing at the wrong angle, grinding, or clenching or teeth, you can damage or lose teeth.
Schedule a consultation
If you think you might have TMD, contact Drs of Smiles today. TMD can and should be treated immediately so don’t hesitate to call us at 480.834.6991. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you live pain-free.