TMD… TMJ…. Lockjaw… those may just sound like letters or some code names, but for those that have experienced this, they know it’s so much more. Have you ever woken up with a sore mouth? Have you ever found that it was excruciatingly painful to try to open your mouth or chew? You could be experiencing a form of TMD. TMD, or Lockjaw, is a lot more common than you think. An estimated 10 to 35 million Americans suffer from this awful disorder! So what exactly is TMD and what are the most troublesome symptoms?
First, we’ll have to start with the anatomy of the jaw and how that works. TMJ, a short term for temporomandibular joint, connects your jaw bone to each side of the skull. This joint acts as a link between the two, so if that link isn’t doing its job, you’ll find yourself in a lot of pain and discomfort. The TMJ can swell, and become irritated, that can cause you to be unable to open your mouth.TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is general term used to address the pain, discomfort, and dysfunction caused by the muscles that control the jaw bone.
If the joint in your mouth becomes irritated, inflamed, or just isn’t working properly, you may experience four of these problems:
- Problems Opening Your Mouth
- Trouble Speaking
- Trouble Chewing
- Swelling, Tenderness, or Irritation in the Cheeks and Face
The joint in your mouth can start to swell, thus causing any number of symptoms making everyday living a difficult task. If you feel as though you’ve experienced any number of these symptoms, please see a Dentist. Having pain in your jaw or being unable to open your mouth itself isn’t life-threatening, and essentially, harmless; however, it can be indicative of larger and more serious diseases. Treatments can be as big as undergoing surgery or as small as wearing a nightguard or mouth guard in the evening.So, the faster you contact your Dentist and seek treatment, the better it’ll be in the long run. Our Wells Family Dentistry in Raleigh, NC, offers emergency dental services or same day appointments. So, see your dentist! You don’t want to find yourself walking around with that unnecessary pain!