The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects your jawbone to the temporal bones of the skull. It allows for up-and-down and side-to-side motion of the jaw. This structure provides the motion for mastication, or chewing of your food, yawning and talking. When the joint is injured or overstressed, symptoms can range from minor to severe, depending on the extent of the injury.
Though individuals in every generation have experienced the discomfort from temporomandibular joint disorder, certain facts about this problem have only come to light in fairly recent years. Here are four interesting facts you may not know about this joint disorder.
The Connection Between Symptoms and TMD
There are many symptoms associated with TMD. Among them are:
- Facial pain around the joint area
- Jaw pain
- Discomfort or pain in the ear, neck or shoulder
- Facial swelling
- Popping or cracking sound during jaw movements
Even though the symptoms have always affected those with TMD, connection between symptoms and the disorder were not discovered by medical professionals until 1980. Fortunately, in many instances, TMD will resolve on its own without intervention or with proper treatment.
TMD May Be Stress Related
Do you clench your teeth when you are upset or stressed? Perhaps you are one of the millions of Americans who clench and grind their teeth while sleeping. This is especially true for many when the pressures of the day affect sleep patterns.
Stress can cause you to unconsciously clench and/or grind your teeth. Without knowing it, you are adding tons of pressure to your teeth and overworking your jaw muscles. The muscles, ligaments and tendons become fatigued, inflamed and you feel the discomfort. Physical stress, such as lifting heavy objects, can also cause some individuals to overwork jaw muscles.
TMD Is More Common in Women
It is estimated that over 10 million Americans suffer from TMD. While it can affect anyone at any age, it is most common among women. Statistics show that this disorder affects twice as many females as males. The majority of TMD patients are in the age range of 20 to 40 years old.
Most people think of arthritis as a disorder that shows up in the extremities or the back. The idea of having arthritis in the jaw is not so common. It can occur with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and infectious arthritis. It can also occur with traumatic arthritis, which is caused by injury, but this form is very uncommon.
The professionals at Sovereign Rehabilitation are experienced in providing treatments leading to long-term pain relief for TMD patients. Contact us to schedule an appointment to learn more about our TMD therapy and rehabilitation services.
Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Suite 225
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 835-3340