When most people think of dental health problems they likely image issues with the teeth or gums, and while these are among the most important parts of your dental health, there are other components as well. For example, the temporomandibular joint is responsible for allowing you to open and close your mouth. Unfortunately, it can encounter any number of problems that can cause severe symptoms among many patients, and if you have recently started to experience pain in your jaw joint, you may have a couple of questions about this condition.
What Is TMD?
When many people refer to the dental condition TMJ they are actually referring to temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMJ simply refers to the joint itself, while TMD refers to disorders of this important joint. When this joint become misaligned or the muscles that support it become strained, you can experience numerous painful symptoms.
For example, it is common for patients to have difficulty opening their mouths, experience severe headaches and have noticeable swelling. Unfortunately, this is usually a progressive condition, and it will continue to worsen until you have the underlying cause of the issue treated. In fact, it is even possible for you to eventually be unable to open your mouth at all due to the intense pain. While the worst of these symptoms will develop rather gradually, you should seek treatment at the first sign of trouble to help you avoid the need for more extensive and advanced treatments.
How Is TMD Treated?
For patients experiencing problems with this part of their jaw, there are numerous treatment options available. However, the one that is best for you will largely depend on how far progressed this condition has become. When this condition is diagnosed in the early stages, it is usually possible to correct it by wearing a special mouthguard while you sleep. This will help realign the jaw, which can eliminate this painful condition.
Unfortunately, there are some people that will delay treatment until this condition has become extremely advanced. In these instances, surgery may be on the only viable option for repairing the damage to the jaw joint. During these procedures, your doctor will reposition the muscles around the jaw to better support it without restricting its movements.
For those that are unfortunate enough to develop TMD, the symptoms can be extremely disruptive to their daily lives. Whether it is speaking or eating, any activity that requires you to open and close your mouth is likely to gradually become more difficult to do. Luckily, after learning the answers to these two common questions, you will have the resources to be able to understand this common but painful condition. For more information, contact a clinic such as Mooresville Dental Care.
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