What is TMD?

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Many patients in the Weatherford, Texas area and around the globe suffer from TMD, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. TMD can cause severe pain in patients’ lives, and simple everyday tasks such as yawning and drinking can become painful. This blog post will discuss what TMD is and how to find out if you have it. Keep reading to learn more about TMD therapy. 


What is TMD?

TMD occurs when arthritis appears and the temporomandibular joint breaks down. TMD can also occur after an injury or a direct hit to the jaw. Several things can cause TMD. One cause of TMD is grinding and clenching your teeth. Many patients are guilty of grinding and clenching their teeth when driving or sleeping. Stress in your life can also cause you to chew and clench your facial muscles and teeth, leading to TMD. 


How do I Know if I Have TMD?

Now let’s talk about the common symptoms of TMD. Knowing the signs will help you determine if it is time to call Dr. Wood and his team at Wood Orthodontics for treatment. The main symptom that patients come into the office for is pain. Severe pain while doing everyday activities such as eating or yawning can signify TMD. Other symptoms include numbness in the jaw, earaches, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, teeth sensitivity, misalignment of teeth, and pain that radiates to the eye sockets, shoulders, and neck. Additionally, you may experience locking or clicking noises when moving your jaw. If you have one or more of these symptoms, consider calling Dr. Wood and his team of experts at Wood Orthodontics. 


What is TMD Therapy in Weatherford? 

The treatment plan that Dr. Wood will design for you will depend on the severity of your condition, your age, and your medical history. There are a few at-home solutions that you can start with today if you think that you have TMD. First, if the pain is severe, you can take over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. Another thing that you can do at home to treat the pain is to alternate heat and cold. At home, you can also minimize your chewing by changing your diet. Lastly, you can practice stress management techniques to decrease the likelihood that you will grind and clench your teeth. These options may help you before your TMD therapy appointment with Dr. Wood at Wood Orthodontics. 


After your evaluation, Dr. Wood may recommend physical therapy to help stretch your jaw and a mouth guard to prevent grinding and clenching. In severe TMD cases, Dr. Wood may refer you to a specialist who may recommend surgery. A mouth guard will separate your sets of teeth and prevent excessive grinding and clenching. Additionally, a mouth guard will protect your teeth if you grind or clench. When you grind your teeth, the action of the teeth rubbing together starts to wear down the teeth. Grinding your teeth can break down the protective layer of your tooth, the enamel, and put your teeth at risk for pain and damage. 


TMD can be a painful problem. One of the most common causes of TMD is everyday stressors causing grinding and clenching of the jaw. Over time, your jaw and teeth will wear down, causing pain and damage. At Wood Orthodontics in Weatherford, we can help treat your TMD. For more information about TMD therapy or to schedule an appointment, call our office today.