TMD? What a Pain!

TMD? What a Pain!

TMD problems are growing due to high stress levels in the world today. The temporomandibular joint or TMJ acts like a hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. In fact, about 20% to 30% of adults are affected by TMD (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) to some degree. TMD is the second most cause of orofacial pain. Dysfunction of the TMJ can lead to pain and discomfort so it is important to understand what the causes and treatment options are.

Causes of TMD

In many cases, the actual cause of this disorder may not be clear. Some causes given for the condition are:

  • Degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Clenching and grinding
  • Hormones
  • Emotional Stress such as anxiety and depression

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Aching pain in and around the ear
  • Discomfort while chewing
  • Aching facial pain/headaches
  • Locking of the joint
  • Popping or clicking of the jaw


There is no standard test for diagnosing TMD. Healthcare providers note the patient’s symptoms, take a detailed medical and dental history, and examine problem areas, such as the head, neck, face, and jaw to determine the best treatment options.

Treatment options

  • Mouth guards or splints
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Acupuncture
  • Stress management
  • Physical Therapy

If you are experiencing TMD symptoms, Center for Cosmetic & Sedation Dentistry can help. Call us today to schedule a consultation!