According to Palm Beach TMJ dentists, over 15 percent of American adults have to deal with chronic facial pains such as headaches, earaches and jaw pains. These pains are often related to problems with the temporomandibular joints located on the sides of the head. These joints, together with a complex muscle, ligament, bones and disc system are responsible for all facial movements.
The term TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) refers to various problems with any part of this system. Those who are suffering from TMD often experience headaches, neck pain, pain in the ears, pain in the jaw, unexplained teeth sensitivity, difficulty in moving the mouth as well as clicking sounds when moving the mouth. TMD is reported to affect about twice as many women as men. The causes of the condition include arthritis, stress, jaw dislocation, improper bite and injuries. Stress is considered to be one of the main causes of TMD. Stress caused by physical duress, stress induced bruxism and overuse of jaw muscles may all lead to TMD.
As for the treatments, there are some options available. Since the causes of TMD are not always easy to pinpoint, TMJ dentists have to be very careful when it comes to the diagnosis. A physical exam and an analysis of your symptoms may provide adequate information to diagnosing a TMD related issue. The doctor will also require x-rays to analyze the bite as well as the joints. Additionally, you will be required to provide your entire medical history for the doctor to review. The treatments will involve anti-inflammatory medication or the application of moist heat to the affected areas. Stress management is also a way to prevent further damage from TMD. Relaxation exercises, bio feedback and nightguards to prevent teeth grinding at night are also offered to prevent damaging the teeth any further. In cases where TMD is caused by teeth alignment problems, orthodontic treatments may be recommended.