Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)





Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.




What Causes TMD?

The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself

What Are the Symptoms of TMD?

People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMD and TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Common symptoms of TMD include:

1- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak or open your mouth wide

2- Limited ability to open the mouth very wide

3- Jaws that get "stuck" or "lock" in the open- or closed-mouth position

4- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain)

5- Ringing of the ears.

6- A tired feeling in the face

7- Uncomfortable bite as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly

8- Swelling on the side of the face

9- Other common symptoms include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches and hearing problems.




Most of the time treatment begins with making a hard splint to orthopedically align and relax the bite and muscles that are not balanced. After a few months of wearing the splint several options are available to finalize treatment. The patient can continue to wear the splint, correct the bite with orthodontics, or crown and bridge treatment at the new jaw position and use of a bite guard at night to open the mouth and prevent further teeth grinding.

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