Your jaw has a very complex joint in it commonly known as the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). It’s easy to take this small part of your anatomy for granted when it’s functioning properly.
Once you experience TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), however, there’s little that will make you forget about it. Everyday activities such as yawning, laughing, and chewing suddenly become excruciating and unbearable.
Even diagnosing TMD can be tricky. There are many different things that can cause or worsen problems in your jaw. Everything from stress to arthritis to crooked teeth has been blamed for joint pain.
Hallmark Signs of TMD
TMD sufferers may only experience one or two of these symptoms, or they may experience many. These signs aren’t conclusive of a TMJ problem, but if you notice more than one, it could be time to get them checked out:
- Clicking, popping, grinding noises
- Pain in the joint
- Sore jaw, neck, ear, or arm
- Regular headaches
- Limited opening of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Worn teeth (indicating a teeth grinding habit which stresses the jaw)
- Large cheek muscles (they’re getting a workout!)
What to Do About TMD
Fortunately, the specialists here at Preston Sherry Dental Associates have some experience in this matter. Using the latest in TMJ analysis techniques, they’ll take a close look at your jaw to determine what may be contributing to your discomfort.
It’s very common for a simple jaw-clenching habit to cause TMJ pain. The Dallas dental experts at Preston Sherry Dental Associates can design a customized mouth guard to prevent your jaw from closing too tightly when you sleep.