Salt Lake City Dentist Blog
Many people mistakenly call TMD, TMJ. TMJ is an acronym for temperomandibular joint. Everyone has 2 TMJ's just like they have 2 knees, and 2 elbows. But ONE OUT OF EIGHT PEOPLE in the United States are living with pain related to TMD every day. Thankfully, if diagnosed and treated correctly, relief is just around the corner. TMD is like having leg or knee pain. The pain can be caused by muscles, the joint, the nerves associated with the muslces and and joint. Hence TMD is not a diagnosis, but a catch-all phase for a wide range of conditions that affect the TMJ and associated musculature. TMD is an acronym for temperomandibular disorder. It can include mysositis, myofascial pain, internal derangements of the joint, and inflammation of the ligaments of the joint, as well as a myriad of other conditions.
Common Symptoms of TMD
TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is pain and discomfort caused by problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.
Common TMD symptoms include:
Stress is an issue everyone deals with to some degree on a daily basis, but with economic down turn the level of stress in our society has risen. Clenching is when a person puts force on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) muscle and bites their teeth together with great force. Grinding or bruxism is when a person puts their teeth together and moves the jaw from side to side or front to back. Clenching and grinding are un-natural positions for the mouth to be in when not chewing. Many of our patients are unaware they have an issue with clenching or grinding their teeth because most people are forming these habits at night when sleeping. Stress can greatly increase these habits not only at night but during the day.
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