What Is TMD?

If you’re experiencing feelings of tension or discomfort in multiple parts of the face, you may have temporomandibular disorder, better known as TMD.

Following is a list of questions we often receive at MiraBella Smiles in Cypress, TX that we hope will help you better understand this chronic facial pain.

What is TMD?

TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge-like joint positioned just in front of the ear. It connects the lower jaw to the upper portion of the skull.

What’s the difference between TMJ and TMD?

If you’ve heard about this disorder before, you may have noticed that both TMJ and TMD are often both used to describe the same disorder. And though they can be used in the same context, the important distinction is that TMJ is a part of the body (a joint) and TMD is a disorder affecting the joint.

What are the symptoms?

The temporomandibular joint makes everyday activities like chewing and talking possible. But if the joint is injured, dislocated, or inflamed due to any number of disorders, it can lead to TMD symptoms such as:

  • Swelling on the face (either on one or both sides)
  • Pain in the neck, head, or jaw that can be more pronounced in the mornings
  • Compromised mobility or locking of the jaw
  • Audible clicking sounds heard from the joint
  • Unexplained tooth sensitivity

What if it’s left untreated?

If left untreated, the pressure created by an imbalanced bite increases the risk of chipping or breaking a tooth which will then require additional procedures to correct the damage or potential infection.

In extreme cases, TMD can cause significant pain and dysfunction of the jaw which can potentially require orthodontic solutions.

What if I think I have TMD?

Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. In moat cases, your description of symptoms, combined with a simple physical examination of face and jaw by your dentist, provides useful information for diagnosing TMD and TMJ.

We’re here to help!

Dr. Winston Faltine and his team at MiraBella Smiles in Cypress, TX are ready to answer any other questions you may have. Book your appointment today!