Does your jaw and the surrounding muscles hurt frequently and intensely? Does it ever get stuck in an open or closed position? Is your bite suddenly uncomfortable? Do you hear clicking or popping noises when your talk or chew? If so, you may have TMD.
TMD stands for Temporomandibular Dysfunction, though some people call it TMJ, for the Temporomandibular Joint. When you have TMD, the joint that works your jaw and your muscles are not working together correctly. According to the Mayo Clinic, TMD can be caused by injuries, stress, tooth grinding, and issues with the joint. If you have TMD, you may need treatment to cure jaw pain and to avoid tooth and gum injuries.
In the past, many doctors treated TMD like it was primarily psychological in nature. However, as celebrities like LeeAnn Rimes and Iggy Azalea have gone public with their TMD struggles, it's become more well known. Researchers suspect that TMD is actually quite common, and that 15% of adults have the condition.
If you have jaw pain, weakness, or locking, you should talk to your dentist about TMD. He may be able to suggest non-invasive treatments that will protect your health.
Dental appliances can mitigate the effects of TMD and give your body time to heal. A night guard is an appliance that you wear at night. It prevents tooth grinding and jaw clenching. Meanwhile, a splint is a TMD appliance that your wear all of the time. Appliances can help prevent pain and tooth damage. They're removable, reliable, and have few side effects.
Dr. Parris Kitt can evaluate your TMD and fit you for a custom TMD appliance. Call Kitt Dental at 903-561-4477 to schedule a consultation in our Tyler dentist office.