Facial Pain? Could It Be TMD?
Many of our patients come to us complaining of headaches and jaw/facial pain. One of the most common culprits, we have found, is TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorder. This disorder is chronic pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw in different directions, allowing you to talk, chew, and yawn.
TMD has a number of causes, including, but not limited to:
- Injury from whiplash or a heavy blow.
- Stress-induced grinding or clenching of the teeth and jaw.
- Movement of the soft cushion or disc between the ball & socket of the joint.
- Arthritis in the TMJ.
TMD causes severe pain and discomfort in the surrounding areas, and can be temporary (i.e, just in times of severe stress) or can be chronic over the course of many years, and can affect one or both sides of your face. The disorder has been noted in more women than men, and most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
Could you have TMD? Common symptoms of the disorder include, but, again, are not limited to:
- Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw, neck, and shoulders.
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw when moving.
- Jaws sticking or locking in the open or closed position.
- Swelling, dizziness, toothaches, headaches, and ear-ringing.
If you exhibit any of these symptoms and think you may have TMD, call us today to set up a consultation to see how we can help!