TMD or temporomandibular disorder is a common condition affecting an estimated 30 per cent of people at some point in their lives. While it is prevalent, and also temporary and rarely serious, it can nevertheless be extremely uncomfortable, sometimes very painful, and can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life.
TMD arises from problems with the muscles in the jaw or the joint itself. Your jaw may be popping or clicking or even “getting stuck” every now and then. It is important to see a dentist or dental specialist for a consultation to determine the cause of the oral problem.
Pain is the most common complaint of TMD patients and it can occur in the masticatory and related muscles, the TMJs or both. Pain can be present at any time, even in the absence of any jaw activity. The pain intensity can be mild to severe and its duration can also vary considerably from momentary to constant. For some individuals there can be multiple episodes over weeks or months.
There are many signs and symptoms of TMD. It’s often hard to know for sure if you have TMD, because one or all of these symptoms can also be present for other problems. Your dentist can help make a proper diagnosis by taking a complete medical and dental history, conducting a clinical examination and taking appropriate X-rays.
Some of the most common TMD symptoms include:
While there is no single cure for TMD, there are different treatments that may reduce your symptoms dramatically. Your dentist may recommend one or more of the following:
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