Temporomandibular disorders, often referred interchangeably as TMJ and TMD, are painful conditions that affect many of our adult patients. At West Arvada Orthodontics, our highly skilled team is dedicated to offering comprehensive TMJ and TMD treatment. Depending on your needs, we can recommend orthodontic appliances, dental work, and other treatments to alleviate your pain.
What Are TMJ And TMD?
Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the temporal bones (in front of your ears) of your skull. This joint allows your jaw to move up and down and side to side. Without it, you couldn’t speak, chew or perform other movements with your mouth. Problems with your temporomandibular joint, called TMJ, are categorized as temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. TMD is the diagnosable disorder that affects your jaw joint, while TMJ refers to the joint itself.
TMJ/TMD can affect one or both sides of your face. It is more common in women than men, and most common in patients between the ages of 20 and 40. Although TMJ/TMD is common, it doesn’t have one specific cause. Injury to the jaw can cause TMJ/TMD, as well as trauma to the head and neck. It can also be caused by:
- Misaligned teeth or jaws, known as a poor bite
- Grinding or clenching the teeth, known as bruxism
- Arthritis in the joint
- Movement in the disc between the ball and socket of the joint
- Tension in the facial muscles due to stress or other issues
What Are The Symptoms Of TMJ And TMD?
TMJ/TMD is often very painful and can last many years if left untreated. Common symptoms of TMJ/TMD include: