Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint, the hinge that attaches your jaw to the side of your skull. People have two TMJs, one on each side of their heads, which allow them to open and close their mouths smoothly. However, sometimes the TMJ can become misaligned and does not move as it should. This leads to temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, a painful condition in which the jaw becomes stiff and sore.
Symptoms of TMD
Pain in the points of the jaw is the most common symptom of TMD. This pain can occur on one or both sides of the face, and usually feels dull or achy. You may also experience pain in the area around the TMJ, such as earaches or headaches around the temples. Pain often becomes sharper when you chew, yawn, or otherwise move your jaw.
Many people with TMD also experience stiffness of the jaw, and they may have difficulty chewing. In some cases, you may notice a difference in the way your teeth fit together.
Treatment for TMD
Dr. Ramon Duran can recommend the best possible treatment for TMD. In many instances, pain from TMD can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, hot and cold compresses, and stretching exercises to loosen the muscles of the jaw. It’s also generally a good idea to refrain from chewing gum or otherwise overexerting your jaw muscles.
In more serious cases, your dentist may recommend more advanced treatments. A medical mouth guard may be able to coax your jaw back into alignment. If this doesn’t work, there are surgical options you can pursue to help repair the joints of your jaw.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suspect you might have TMD, contact the dental office of Dr. Ramon A. Duran. We can schedule an appointment for x-rays and an in-depth examination to determine whether you are suffering from TMD or another condition that affect your jaw. Treat your TMD in San Juan, PR today!