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Tooth Tourism Blog

Friday, August 8, 2008

Temporomandibular Disorder

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves related with unending facial pain. Problems that prevent the multipart system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.

The TMD joint is one of the most complicated joints in our body. It collapses forward, backward, and from side to side. During chewing, it sustains an enormous amount of pressure.

TMD Causes

Most frequently, the cause of a temporomandibular disorder is a blend of muscle strain and anatomic problems inside the joints. Sometimes, there is a psychologic component as well. Definite causes include muscle pain and tightness, internal joint derangement, arthritis, ankylosis, and hypermobility.

Symptoms of TMD

  • jaw discomfort
  • headaches
  • pain radiating behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, and/or back
  • earaches or ringing in the ears
  • clicking or popping of the jaw
  • locking of the jaw
  • mouth motions are limited
  • clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • dizziness
  • sensitivity of the teeth without the presence of an oral health disease
  • numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers

Treatment for TMD

Treatment is often based on the following:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • the extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference

The two common types of treatment are known as "conservative" and "reversible". Conservative treatments are simple and used most often because most patients do not have severe, degenerative TMD. These treatments do not invade the face, jaw, or joint tissue.

Reversible treatments do not cause permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth.

Self-care practices like eating soft foods, applying heat or ice packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements (eg. chewing gum), are also useful in easing TMD symptoms. Relaxation and stress reduction can also help patients deal with the pain.

Need to find a dentist? Let do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)

Contact today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.


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