What is TMD?

When addressing your dental concerns, many people don’t think about how many different parts of your physical health can be affected by your mouth. It’s critical, however, to know how pain in your teeth and jaw can reach beyond just your mouth, like when a patient is experiencing Temporomandibular Disorder. Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) refers to problems and pain stemming from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is the joint that connects your jaw bone to your skull. Our El Paso team at Picasso Smiles Dental wants to ensure that all of our patients are receiving the proper care, and this includes your ability to recognize and address the signs of TMD. We’ve broken down an overview and some tips below, but please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Common Signs and Symptoms of TMD

Catching and addressing the signs of TMD as soon as possible is critical to reducing your pain and recovery time. Connect with our Picasso Smiles staff if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Pain Across Your Face, Especially The Ear Area

While many different types of headaches (tension, sinus, etc.) can lead to pain across the pace, TMD pain starts in the TMJ area which will likely lead to pain specifically in and around your ear.

Face Swelling

Exacerbation of tension in your TMJ area can lead to inflammation in the surrounding area, which may appear as a general swelling appearance in your face.

Locking Or Out Of Place Jaw

If you find that you’re having difficulty opening and closing your jaw because your TMJ is locking (with either an open or closed mouth), then we’d recommend that you reach out to your Picasso Smiles dentist as soon as possible.

Popping Or Clicking With Normal Jaw Movement

Popping or clicking while eating or speaking may be indicative of a problem with your jaw that should be addressed to prevent any aggravation of your TMJ.

Pain And/Or Tenderness In Jaw Muscles

Again, if you are experiencing pain or tenderness specifically in and around your jaw muscles, this is likely related to TMD and you should consult with your Picasso Smiles dental team to prevent this from becoming a chronic issue.Man sitting on a bench touches his jaw, which is hurting him

Alleviating and Avoiding TMD

There are plenty of tips for addressing TMD, but the fact of the matter is that there is no single cure to guarantee the end of your TMJ pain. It’s critical to be aware of and seek professional evaluation for how TMD is affecting your daily routine and any pain in your face to find the most effective way to address your specific symptoms.

Take Measures to Reduce Stress

TMD symptoms are often confused with tension headaches, and this is no surprise. Both have very similar traits and causes, which means they also have similar preventative methods. Incorporating practices that reduce your average levels of stress, such as meditation, yoga, or cognitive behavioral therapy can vastly improve your overall health and TMD-related pain.

Use The Proper Tools

If you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth, using a night guard (or regular mouthguard during high-impact activity) can work wonders in reducing harmful habits that lead to or exacerbate TMD. That added layer will reduce tension damage in both the short and long term.

Seek Medical Help

In cases where pain will not subside, try using over the counter medicinal options. Make sure that you follow any accompanying instructions as close as possible. If over the counter options are not sufficient, we would encourage you to reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible to address muscle spasms or similar pain. Our El Paso team at Picasso Smiles Dental is always happy to help you and your family alleviate whatever mouth-related pain you’re experiencing.

Schedule a Visit at Picasso Smiles Today!

Whatever your circumstances are, know that the team at Picasso Smiles Dental is here to help you. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your options in addressing TMD or other dental concerns. Our friendly offices in El Paso are welcoming environments that will make your experience as painless as possible. We can’t wait to meet you and your loved ones!

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