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Often caused by clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth over a period of time, Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) can cause pain and discomfort in your jaw, restricting everyday activities such as speaking and eating.
In this month’s Treatment Spotlight, we spoke to Dr Laura Siebels - a dentist at our Mona Vale practice and a TMD specialist - about what causes this common dental condition, what type of symptoms you might experience, and how you can minimise the discomfort of a TMD.
The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. You have one on either side of your face, located in front of each ear. The Temporomandibular joints enable the movements necessary for speaking, eating, and making facial expressions.
TMDs are common conditions that can cause jaw pain, abnormal jaw movements, and joint noises, such as a clicking sound when you open your mouth.
People suffering from a TMD may experience the following symptoms:
Damage can occur to the Temporomandibular joint when the joint’s disc - the cushioning cartilage - slips out of position. Usually, this is the result of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth over long periods of time, most commonly at night. However, TMDs can also be caused by other factors, including injury or arthritis.
Some of the contributing factors that can cause TMDs include:
You may be at risk of developing a TMD if you:
TMDs may also be associated with disturbed sleep patterns and difficulty breathing at night, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).
Treatment for TMDs will vary greatly depending on your level of pain or discomfort and the underlying cause of the condition.
To find out about treatment options for a TMD, you should one of our dentists who can examine you and advise on the best solution.
The symptoms associated with TMDs may go away without treatment. In the meantime, here are some of the ways you can reduce the pain of a TMD:
For advice on TMD and the right treatment option for you, make an appointment with your National Dental Care / DB Dental dentist - Book Online today.
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