Many people who suffer from TMD may become so used to its discomfort that they don’t think to seek any treatment. If they suffer chronic TMD headaches, they may mistake them for migraines and seek pain relief from a physician.
The muscles, nerves, tendons and bones of your face and mouth are designed to work together for effective biting and chewing, and for a comfortable resting position when not in action. The lower jaw pivots in a ball-and-socket joint just in front of each ear.
The jaw joints are delicate in that they can be rather easily thrown out of alignment. If this happens, the jaw muscles must strain to hold even a resting bite position, leading to chronic discomfort and other symptoms.
It is a good idea to speak to your physician and make sure that your symptoms do not have a medical cause. Then, contact Dr. Lindsey Marshall to see if they might have a dental cause.
TMD, meanwhile, stands for temporomandibular disorder. This is the general name for issues affecting the health and function of the joint and connected muscles in the face. The exact cause of TMD is unknown, but possible risk factors include:
Though the TMJ is a structure in the body and TMD is a disorder affecting the joint, you might hear some Physiologic dentists use the term interchangeably.
She may use a TENS unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) to administer low-level stimulus to the jaw muscles in order to relax them. It may be the first time in many years that your jaw muscles have assumed their correct, relaxed position, and the pain relief can be tremendous. When Dr. Marshall determines your relaxed jaw position, your TMD treatment will focus on making that position permanent.
Millions of Americans suffer from TMD, often without knowing it. TMD may start subtly or have no symptoms at all. This makes seeing a dentist who has trained in Physiologic dentistry an important part of your dental health routine. Even if your TMD is not currently painful, Dr. Marshall can detect problems with your bite’s alignment during your regularly scheduled dental exams. When symptoms of TMD are treated early, you can avoid more serious long-term problems and tooth damage.
– Steve B.
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