TMJD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a common illness that involves inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. This inflammation may lead to tenderness, cramps, and muscle or bone damage in the joint. The temporomandibular joint connects the skull to the mandible, or jawbone, meaning that this joint is involved in many necessary actions such as speaking, eating, and drinking. When TMJD pain begins to interfere with one’s ability to perform these essential daily tasks, TMJD patients should seek assistance from an experienced dental professional to determine the underlying cause of their pain and explore treatment methods. For some, TMJD symptoms will be temporary, but other patients may experience chronic discomfort without proper treatment.
How Do I Know If I Have TMJD?
TMJD must be diagnosed by a licensed dental professional, but symptoms of TMJD include:
- Pain in one or both sides of one’s jaw, which may radiate toward the ears
- Tightness in the muscles surrounding the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Audible clicking or popping when opening one’s mouth
- Jaw feeling “locked” or “stuck” in a certain position
- Facial swelling
- Unexplained headaches or neck pain
What Causes TMJD?
Many factors may contribute to TMJD. Some common causes include:
- trauma to one’s face
- anxiety disorders
- teeth grinding or clenching, particularly while sleeping
- poor posture
If you are concerned about jaw pain, Dr. Phelan can assist you in determining whether or not you have TMJD. Multiple treatment options are available and will vary depending on the underlying cause of your TMJD. Our practice is committed to providing the highest possible level of care in a uniquely patient-focused environment. Contact Dr. Phelan for an appointment!
Our Practice Proudly Serves:
- South Attleboro, MA
- Attleboro, MA
- Cumberland, RI
- Lincoln, RI
- Seekonk, MA
- Surrounding areas of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts
Additional information about TMJD may be found through The TMJ Association.