Does Jaw Pain Keep You From Living Your Best Life?
During the summer months, residents of Denton, Maryland, want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Family vacations, neighborhood barbecues, and sunset cocktails with friends are all on the horizon — unless, of course, you have chronic jaw pain. When your jaw hurts, pops, and cracks, every social engagement is daunting: Will you be able to eat without pain? Will you be able to talk? Or will your pain be so bad that even smiling hurts? If your jaw pain is this persistent, you may want to be evaluated for TMD, or a temporomandibular joint disorder.
TMJ vs. TMD
What many people call TMJ is actually TMD. You see, everyone has two temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, as they connect the lower jaw to the upper jaw. TMD occurs when those joints become damaged or inflamed.
While TMD is more common among women ages 20 – 40, it’s causes vary, which means anyone is susceptible. If your teeth aren’t properly aligned, if you have a family history of jaw problems, if you’ve had an accident where head, back, or neck trauma was involved, or if you have arthritis, you could potentially suffer from TMD.
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common (and obvious) symptom of TMD is jaw pain, but there are others that you may not even realize are caused by your jaw:
- Jaw noises, such as popping or clicking
- Facial swelling
- The inability to open your mouth widely
- Head, neck, back, and shoulder pain
- Earaches, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), and dizziness
When you have an earache, you may naturally assume that you have an ear infection; very few people would suspect a jaw problem.
How Smiles by Holsinger & Higgins Can Help
Dental technology allows us to pinpoint the precise cause of your jaw pain. Our Joint Vibration Analysis — part of our BioPak system — can assess even the most minor of jaw misalignments by measuring and recording jaw joint movement in 3D. Once the source of your pain is identified, we can use our T-scan device to balance your bite and devise a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle. We may suggest orthodontic treatment to permanently correct misalignments, an oral splint to correctly position your jaw, or even crowns to ensure that your lower teeth align properly with your upper. Whatever the case may be, we can put a stop to the pain that just might keep you from making the best of your summer.
If you’re concerned that you may be one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from TMD, contact our office to request an appointment. We would love to help you live a pain-free life.