The TMJ (temporal-mandibular joint) is where the head meets the jaw. TMD (temporomandibular disorder) is the repeated occurrence of pain, muscle spasms, and joint imbalance that occurs in this joint. The balance of these bones, cartilage, and muscles can be lost causing headaches, earaches, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, clicking in the joint, an aching pain that spreads from ear to face, and sore jaw muscles. TMD can be triggered by clenching, grinding, a bad bite from missing or poorly aligned teeth, an impact to the joint, arthritis, or emotional stress.
TMD has multiple treatments and the best option for you can be determined by your dentist. Some of the ways to restore balance are crowning teeth, filling spaces, equilibration, moving teeth, using a splint, and, in extremely severe cases, surgery to repair the damaged part of the joint. Equilibration is a process where your bite is adjusted to better align your teeth by removing small layers of enamel. A NTI is a small device that can be worn when clenching occurs to prevent the stress on your temporal muscles. A splint is a plastic mouthpiece that reduces clenching and grinding. Many people suffer from TMD but you don’t have to; visit your dentist and look forward to a less painful tomorrow!
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