Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD)

Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are hinges that connect your jaw to your skull. Located on both sides of your face, they control jaw movement and help you chew and talk. 

As the name suggests, a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) is a condition that affects your jaw joint and hinders your jaw movements.

At Northeast Dental Associates, Dr. Saalini Velamakanni, an experienced general and cosmetic dentist, provides extensive medical care to patients to treat the symptoms and causes of temporomandibular joint disorders.

What Is a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)?

A temporomandibular joint disorder is any dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles, and the nerves associated with them. 

TMJDs inhibit the ability of the jaw joints to work harmoniously with the jaw muscles and bones and thus obstruct jaw movements. TMJDs generally cause inflammation of the jaw muscles and result in mild to severe pain depending on your condition.

What Are the Common Symptoms of TMJD?

TMJDs are most common among people between 20 and 40 years old and cause discomfort and pain. Some of the signs and symptoms of TMJD include:

  • Severe or mild pain in your jaw joint, face, neck, and shoulder area.
  • Discomfort when you try to chew, bite, speak, or open your mouth wide.
  • Constant earaches or headaches.
  • Clicking, popping, jarring, or locking of the jaw when your mouth is either open or closed.
  • Swelling or tenderness on the sides of your face.
  • Bite issues or jaw misalignment issues. 
  • Tooth sensitivity without any apparent oral health disease. 

What Are the Causes of TMJD?

It’s hard to determine the exact cause of a temporomandibular joint disorder but the most common reasons for TMJD include:

  • Severe trauma to your jaw joint or the muscles of your head or neck
  • Joint arthritis
  • Excessive strain on jaw joint or muscles
  • Constant grinding and clenching of your teeth
  • Displacement of jaw joint disks

Diagnosis and Treatment for TMJD

Apart from analyzing common symptoms, Dr. Velamakanni at Northeast Dental Associates also conducts thorough physical exams to diagnose TMJDs. X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans are the standard procedures for examining jaw joints and ruling out other health conditions.

The treatment for TMJD depends on the severity of your condition. In most cases, the treatment plans include traditional, nonsurgical procedures that address the symptoms of TMJD. Medications, night guards, and dental procedures are the standard methods to resolve the pain and discomfort caused by TMJD.

If you’re suffering from any of the TMJD symptoms above, schedule a consultation with Dr. Saalini Velamakanni at Northeast Dental Associates for a thorough check-up. Drop in at 19411 McKay Dr #150, Humble, TX 77338, or call  Dentist Humble, TX at (832) 818-8132.