The Facts About TMD
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), often goes undiagnosed because people who suffer from it might not know the cause of their pain, and therefore, don’t know where to go for treatment. That’s why it’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to this common problem, which affects as many as 10 million Americans.
True or False: TMD is only caused by an injury or an accident?
False: TMD can be caused by a number of issues that don’t involve a one-time event such as an injury or accident. Grinding of the teeth, known as bruxism, puts strain on the soft and hard jaw tissues that results in pain. A malocclusion, when the lower teeth do not fit with the upper teeth, can negatively impact the proper function of the jaw joint, as well.
True or False: A constant headache could mean you have TMD.
True: While there are many reasons why you might have a headache, an ongoing headache that is combined with facial pain can signal that you may have a TMD issue. The TMJ muscles run along your cheeks and the top of your head as well as your jaw, and when these muscles tense up, they result in pain.
True or False: The only cure for TMD is surgery.
False: Before surgery would be recommended, a patient would undergo various therapies to help treat their symptoms. Unless you have a jaw defect by birth where surgery is needed to correct the issue, most patients will undergo treatments that may involve an oral appliance.
True or False: TMD will go away on it’s own.
False: Not only is TMD unlikely to resolve itself, it may only get worse over time. Some patients live with chronic pain for years before seeking treatment, all the while thinking it would go away or that over-the-counter pain medication was their only hope. There is a solution, though. With TMD treatment, we’ve helped patients find relief from pain and other annoying symptoms that affect their daily life.
If you have questions about TMD in Auburn or Silverdale, WA, please call our office for more information.