The joints that can be found on each side of your face are called temporomandibular joints, also known as TMJ. These joints are responsible for the smooth movement of your mandible or lower jaw. TMJs are an important part of your facial structure. They allow you to talk, eat and swallow food without any difficulty.
If your jaw muscles and ligaments do not work in harmony, it can cause TMJ dysfunction, also known as TMD. When your TMJ does not function properly, you are at risk of developing several oral health issues. If you or a close family member are dealing with these signs, our team at Beaverton Oral Surgeons can help treat your TMD and reduce these risks.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
Many people confuse both the term TMJ and TMD with each other. Though TMJ is often associated with TMD, they are actually trying to refer to different conditions. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorders, and it encompasses issues that are related to your TMJ. Nearly 12 million adults in the U.S. are affected by TMD. There are many reasons why people get TMD, one of them being teeth grinding and clenching. This condition is commonly known as bruxism. Frequently grinding your teeth can put pressure on your jaw joints leading to complications in your TMJ.
What Are The Symptoms of This Jaw Disorder?
Symptoms of TMJ disorder can easily be felt and noticed. Having them checked by a professional early can prevent your TMD case from worsening. One of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder is a tenderness of the jaw. You may also feel facial pain and difficulty while opening your mouth wide. This can make it harder to do basic tasks like chewing and swallowing. With severe TMD, the pain can travel behind your eyes, neck, and back. In some rare cases, TMD can also cause swelling of these areas. Another sign that you have TMD is the clicking or grating sounds from your jaw.
Who Can Get TMJ Disorders?
Though TMD is more prevalent in people between the ages of 20 to 40, people of other age groups are not actually immune to it. Women also have a higher likelihood of getting TMD than men. In fact, for every man diagnosed with TMD, there are nine women who are affected by it. People with bruxism also have higher chances of getting TMD than those without it.
Is TMD Treatable?
Fortunately, TMJ disorders are treatable. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments for TMD. There are also several ways to ease or stop the pain that TMJ dysfunction can cause. The treatment is different for patients who have severe TMD and those who have mild ones. Our experts will have to evaluate your case first before clearing you for any treatments.
TMJ disorders can be really painful when they are left untreated and can lead to continuous chronic pain and discomfort. For those of you who are experiencing any jaw irregularities, come see us at Beaverton Oral Surgeons today. To learn more about TMD and treatment options for it or to make an appointment with us, give us a call at (971) 249-8370.