Sometimes a recurring headache could be a sign of a condition known as temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. The TMD condition affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Sometimes the terms “TMD” and “TMJ” are used interchangeably. At Kelley Family Dentistry, we can perform TMD/TMJ treatments to help relieve you from the headache and jaw pain associated with the condition.

Common Symptoms of TMD/TMJ

The best way to diagnose you for a possible TMD/TMJ problem is to examine you at our offices, but there are several symptoms that could be indications that you might have the disorder:

  • Jaw Pain – The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull, so when there is a problem with it, you will experience pain in your jaw.
  • Earaches – Since the TMJ is located near the ears, sometimes the pain caused for TMD can be felt from the jaw to the ear.
  • Headaches – Jaw pain can often trigger migraine like headaches, and especially when the pain persist for a long time.
  • Face & Neck Pain – Sometimes the TMD pain will spread from the jaw and ears to the entire face and neck because there is a tendency to tense up when in pain.
  • Clicking Sounds – A clicking sound when opening or closing your mouth could be a sign of TMD.
  • Locking Jaw – TMD can also cause the jaw to lock or get stuck.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should give us a call and schedule an appointment because the symptoms could get worse over time.

Common Causes of TMD

There are some common causes of TMD; some can be avoided and others cannot. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Teeth Grinding – A common habit for many people is grinding the teeth at night, but constant grinding of the teeth can lead to TMD and other problems.
  • Jaw Clenching – another very common habit is clenching the jaw at night during sleep, and like teeth grinding, clenching the jaw can lead to TMD.
  • Jaw Fractures – A fractured jaw might go untreated and over time an old injury could cause TMD.
  • Displaced Discs – If the cartilage disc between the jaw moves out of place, it could lead to TMD with swelling of the jaw and discomfort.

Treating TMD/TMJ

At Kelley Family Dentistry, we treat TMD/TMJ with a stabilization splint, which is also called a night guard or bite plate. The splint is used to keep your teeth from grinding when you are sleeping, and it also helps prevent jaw clenching.

If your TMD/TMJ condition requires more than what we can do with a stabilization splint, then we will recommend you to a specialist who can provide another method of treating your condition. Our end goal is to maintain your good health.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMD/TMJ, please call us or schedule an appointment online. We want you to be healthy, happy and pain free!