Temporomandibular Joint Disorder: Seven Ways to Treat TMD

Are you one of the 25% of North Americans who have a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? If you’re not sure, you may be wondering what a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is.

Before we can discuss this, it’s important that can identify where the TMJ is and its function.

The TMJ is located in front of your ears, and it connects your jaw to your skull. It allows us to move our jaws up and down and side to side, and is one of the most complex joints in the body. Its purpose is to allow you to speak and eat.

A number of things can cause this disorder, including:

  • Injury to the jaw – Muscles and tendons that have been injured are weaker, and movement will result in pain that may become chronic.
  • Teeth misalignment – When teeth are not in the proper alignment, optimum biting forces are not achieved. This results in movements that put stress on the jaw.
  • Fingernail biting – When you bite your fingernails, your lower jaw is repeatedly forced out of a natural resting position. This puts extra stress on your jaw, causing discomfort or pain.
  • Worn, loose, or missing teeth – When one or more teeth are lost, the teeth adjacent must work harder and forces are redistributed. This leads to imbalanced use of jaw power, resulting in jaw pain and other symptoms.
  • Bruxism (clenching, grinding) – Imagine a muscle being worked and worked without rest. This is what bruxism does to your jaw. The continual use stresses and tightens the muscle so it is unable to relax.
  • Incorrect posture – Alignment of the neck and jaw can put undue pressure on your jaw, resulting in discomfort and pain.
  • Poorly-fitted dentures – If dentures do not fit correctly, not only will it cause gum sores and pain, it will cause you to compensate when chewing and talking, throwing your jaw out of optimum alignment.
  • Stress – This ties into bruxism (see above), and in addition to all the other symptoms stress brings, your jaw may ache.
  • Arthritis – Yes, arthritis can affect your jawbone! Unilateral and degenerative, it will cause pain and affect the movement of your jaw. Often, we are the first to detect arthritis in your jaw when we take x-rays.
  • Chewing gum – Jaws are not meant to be in constant motion, so when you chew gum, your jaw muscles will tighten and eventually become fatigued. This can sometimes cause pain-related symptoms.

Reduce Pain and Discomfort with a TMJ Clinic in Edmonton

Are you looking for temporomandibular joint disorder treatments in Edmonton? At Twin Dental, we offer a range of services designed to help you feel more comfortable. Our caring and compassionate team will help you to determine the right treatment for your needs. To learn more, call our TMJ therapy center in Edmonton today at (587) 401-2411.