Temporomandibular Joint Disease (TMD) is a lot more common than you may think, which is why it’s important to be informed of the symptoms, when to see a doctor, and what your treatment options are.
What to Expect
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint that connects your jaw bone to the rest of your face. TMJ.com explains that a TMD can occur among people who have problems with the alignment of their teeth that interferes with the way their jaws close, or it could be because of problems with their facial muscles, clenching or grinding their teeth, and other causes you can freely read on the WebMD website linked below.
A disease in the joint can worsen when not treated by a specialist, so diagnosing whether you have TMD should be done as early as possible to prevent it from getting worse. Signs and symptoms of TMD can vary in each case, but patients can often experience a clicking sound upon opening and closing their jaw, difficulty when chewing or opening their mouth, pain on the sides of the face, and eventually, headaches.
How to Treat It
TMD may indicate a degenerative disease and should be dealt with as soon as possible. It’s important to seek medical help to prevent future complications such as a lockjaw or dislocation of the joint which can be very painful. If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, for example, your jaw hurts on the left side and it doesn’t seem to go away, seek help from a doctor or specialist.
You can talk about a number of treatment options with your doctor, who can advise you on the best possible solution as some can be quite invasive, but select manufacturers have come up with medical devices to help relieve the symptoms of TMD. For a list of possible treatments, read this page from Mayo Clinic where they provide a short description of each option.
TMD is very treatable and managing complications can be done with much ease. As long as you follow the doctor’s orders, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. So keep calm and chew slowly!