Have you ever experienced pain or swelling in your face, head, or neck area? Do you have trouble chewing or feel discomfort in your jaw area when eating? While head and neck pain may be caused by a number of different reasons, there may be a specific underlying cause of these symptoms. These are just a few symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which affects your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). This disorder is most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40. While the direct cause of TMD is unknown, some reasons may include jaw injury, teeth grinding or clinching, or joint arthritis. Additional symptoms of TMD can include: jaw popping and stiffness, migraines or frequent head and neckaches, misaligned teeth, eye pain, and ear aches.
Experiencing any of these symptoms? Here’s what to do!
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to visit a dental specialist that focuses on diagnosing and treating TMD-related symptoms. Proper diagnosis of TMD from a dental specialist can set you on the right track to freedom from head, neck or jaw pain and swelling, or, if you do not have TMD, your dental specialist can refer you to alternative care. Your dentist can evaluate your symptoms and create a customized treatment plan specifically for you. We specialize in treating TMD and offer a few great options to minimize your symptoms and prevent your TMD from becoming more severe. These include:
- Relaxing your face: keep this rule in mind- “lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid teeth grinding
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Practice good posture: keep your head up, back straight and shoulders squared
While head and neck pain along with other discomforts can be quite disruptive, visiting a dental specialist can help you discover and treat the cause.
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