Greenwood, SC, patients ask about treatments for TMJ and TMD disorder
TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, is a condition that is often identified by a clicking or popping sound in the jaw. It occurs when the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is misaligned or tense. Dr. Christopher Griffin of Greenwood, SC, has helped many patients understand why they’re experiencing jaw pain and provide treatments to improve the symptoms.
What is the temporomandibular joint?
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the lower portion of the jaw to the skull. To locate your TMJ, place two fingers below your earlobe where you will feel the curve of your jaw. Hold your finger in place while you open your mouth and you can feel the jaw shifting into place.
People who have trouble with their temporomandibular joint can experience:
- Pain, popping or a clicking sound in their jaw
- A locked jaw
Patients who experience this pain should visit a dentist to have the TMD condition diagnosed. Once TMD is identified, there are several ways to address it so that the pain can be managed or eliminated.
- Habit changes: Some patients will notice improvement by limiting stress on the jaw. This can be done by avoiding habits such as chewing gum, yelling loudly, or opening their mouth wide while yawning.
- Lifestyle changes. Other patients may find that taking steps to reduce their stress level will stop habits such as jaw clenching or teeth grinding.
If these changes don’t help, a dentist can prescribe an oral appliance to prevent the patient from clenching and grinding the teeth or to reposition the jaw.
Many people believe that TMD is a condition for children or teens. In fact, it can affect adults as well. If you’re experiencing jaw discomfort or believe you may have TMD, call the office of Dr. Christopher Griffin at (864) 229-2610 today.
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