Temporomandibular joints are the joints in your jaw that allow you to open and close your mouth or move it from one side to another.  These joints, often referred to as your TMJs, are located just below the ears. The temporomandibular joints attach the lower jaw to the skull.  When these joints hurt, our Yarmouth dentist refers to the issue as TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder.

    Many people are affected by TMD, but for various reasons.  One of the most common problems that cause TMD is stress. The unconscious action of clenching your teeth while under stress can put unwanted pressure on these joints and cause inflammation and pain.  Overtime, this pain can worsen as the cartilage that protects and supports the joints wear down.

    Symptoms and Signs of TMJ disorders or TMJ

    If you experience any of the following, you may be suffering from TMD…

    • Tight muscles or soreness when chewing
    • Headaches
    • Lock jaw
    • Popping or clicking of the jaw joints when taking or eating
    • Limited range of motion with your jaw
    • Pain in the facial area

    The above signs and symptoms indicate that there may be a bigger problem.  If you consistently experience any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with our Yarmouth dentist so we can diagnose the problem and find a solution that will eliminate the problem.

    Examining your TMJs

    It is routine to expect a TMJ exam when you visit our Yarmouth dentist.  Every dental exam contains a check of your temporomandibular joints. It is part of our Cumberland Dental Arts preventive dentistry plan.  It ensures your joints are in working order and helps prevent problems from arising at a future date.

    Treatment Options for TMD

    The options for treating your TMD depend on the cause of the issue.  One of the following below may be recommended for treating your TMD issue:

    • Surgery
    • Physical therapy
    • Hot and cold compresses
    • Medication
    • Occlusal splints
    • Night guards
    • Bite adjustment/braces

    There are a wide variety of ways to treat TMD.  Talk with our Yarmouth dentist about your pain and situation so we can develop a treatment plan that fits into your schedule and bring you fast relief.