Temporomandibular disorder, frequently referred to as TMD or TMJ, is a painful disorder involving the Temporomandibular (TM) joints, which are located on each side of the head. According to the American Dental Association, TMD affects more than 15 percent of adults nationwide. TMD can impact all areas of the face, leaving its victims in tremendous pain. The exact cause of TMD has yet to be identified, but dentists believe symptoms could stem from problems with jaw muscles or with parts of the joint itself. However, it can be referred pain with the source stemming from somewhere else.
Dental treatments for TMJ can include splint therapy, replacing missing teeth, adjusting the bite, or filling gaps between teeth. However, each patient’s treatment is tailored to their source of pain, and not every patient has the same treatment plan due to this. If left untreated, severe cases may require surgery to repair the joint. Treatment times may vary so always consult your dental physician about the best treatment plan for you.