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What causes TMD?

What is the function of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) comprise the two joints which connect your jaw with your skull. In particular, they constitute the joint that move and rotate to the left and right of each ear and are comprised of the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and the base of your skull). The TMJs are among the most intricate joints found in the human body. They, along with various muscles, permit mandibles to go both up and down, side-to-side as well as forward and back. When the mandible as well as the joints are aligned properly and smooth muscle movements like chewing and talking, yawning and swallowing, occur. If the structures (muscles ligaments, disc temporal bone, jaw bone) aren’t aligned, or synchronized in their movements there are a variety of issues that could occur.

What is temporomandibular disorders (TMD)?

Temporomandibular conditions (TMD) are conditions of the jaw muscles temporomandibular joints, as well as the nerves involved in chronic facial pain. Any issue that blocks the complicated system of bones, muscles and joints from working in harmony could cause a temporomandibular disorder.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research categorizes TMD according to the following criteria:

Myofascial pain. It is the most commonly reported type of TMD. It causes pain or discomfort within the fascia (connective tissue that surrounds the muscles) as well as muscles that control the neck, jaw and shoulder function.

Internal dislocation of joint. This could be a dislocated jaw or a displaced disk (cushion of cartilage that lies between the jaw’s head bone as well as the skull) or damage on the condyle (the part of the jaw bone which articulates with the temporal bone).

Degenerative joint disease of the joint. This can be caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid joint arthritis in the jaw joint.

You may be suffering from one or more of these conditions simultaneously.

What is the cause of TMD?

In many instances the causes of this condition may not be obvious. In some cases, the primary cause is over-stress upon the joints of your jaw as well as the muscles involved in chewing and swallowing. This strain can result from bruxism. This is the routine grinding or clenching of teeth. However, trauma of the jaw neck, or the head could result in TMD. Arthritis and displacement of disks in the jaw can result in TMD discomfort. In other instances, another chronic medical issue, like IBS or fibromyalgia could be a factor that can cause or increase the discomfort of TMD. A recent study from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified sensory, psychological, clinical genetic, and nervous system variables that could make a person more at likelihood for developing chronic TMD.

What are the symptoms and signs of TMD?

Here are the top frequently reported symptoms and signs of TMD:

Jaw pain or soreness (often usually most noticeable in the morning or late in the afternoon)


The pain can be felt behind the eyes or in the face neck, shoulder, and/or back

Ringing or pain in the ear (not due to an infection in the ear canal’s inner part)

Popping or clicking of the jaw

The jaw must be locked.

The mouth is not moving as much.

Grinding or clenching of the teeth


The teeth can be sensitive with no oral health condition

The sensation of tingling or numbness in the fingers

A change in how upper and lower teeth are positioned together.

The signs and symptoms of TMD could be similar to those of other medical or other issues. Visit a dentist or doctor to determine the cause.

Get more information on what is TMD Disorder with West End Wellness.

What are the treatment options for TMD?

Your physician will figure out the most effective treatment based on:

How old are you?

Your general health and medical background

How well do you take specific drugs techniques, procedures, or therapies

How long is the condition anticipated to last?

Your opinion or choice

Treatment could include:

Resting the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)

Pain relievers or medicine

Techniques for relaxation and strategies for managing stress

Changes in behavior (to lessen or stop teeth from clenching)

Physical therapy

A mouthguard or orthopedic device that is worn inside the mouth (to lessen the grinding of teeth)

Posture training

Dietary changes (to relax jaw muscles)

Hot packs and ice