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What is TMD?

woman has jaw pain

TMD, also known as temporomandibular disorder, affects the two joints that connect your jawbone to your skull. It can cause ongoing pain and even make chewing and speaking difficult if it progresses further.

Is TMD serious?

In some cases, TMD may not be very serious, and it could go away without treatment. However, in other instances, it may be serious and can grow into a long-lasting issue. For example, pain may be severe, or the way your jaw moves can be quite restricted. Chewing and speaking may become very difficult.

How Do You Fix TMD?

Treatments for TMD range from self-care to surgery, depending on how much pain you’re in and how much your range of motion is limited. Treatments may include one or more of the following:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Giving up chewing gum
  • Applying moist heat on your jaw
  • Applying ice
  • Avoiding jaw clenching
  • Massaging the muscles around your jaw
  • Stretching your jaw slightly
  • Being fitted for a mouth guard for TMD caused by tooth grinding or clenching while you’re asleep
  • Having surgery if the jawbone or its surrounding muscles are damaged
  • Getting a joint replacement if the movement of your jawbone is very restricted

What happens if TMD is not treated?

TMD can progress and cause more pronounced symptoms the longer that it’s allowed to continue without proper treatment. You may also find that your symptoms become more severe and cause more disruption in your life over time. In addition, you may grind or clench your teeth, which is associated with TMD, and these symptoms can become worse and cause further damage to your teeth the longer they are allowed to progress.

What kind of pain does TMD cause?

TMD can cause the following types of pain:

  • Jaw pain
  • Pain around the jaw
  • Ear pain/earache
  • Headaches
  • Pain that feels like a headache or toothache
  • Facial pain

Why is My TMD Getting Worse?

TMD that’s not treated can get worse over time. Symptoms may worsen, interfering with your ability to chew and speak comfortably. As your TMD progresses, it can cause teeth grinding to get worse, which can weaken your jawbone and even fracture your teeth.

Is TMD a permanent condition?

Without proper treatment, TMD can worsen and the pain and effects it causes your jaw and teeth can be permanent.

What can I do to fix my TMD?

TMD can sometimes be fixed by using home treatments, but it can also require medical intervention.

Can TMD be caused by stress?

TMD can be worsened by stress because it can make you more likely to clench or grind your teeth.

How long does TMD pain last?

TMD pain can last for just a few days or weeks, or it can last for years.

If you have jaw pain or another symptom of TMD, make an appointment today in one of our many convenient New York area offices. We have offices open seven days a week with extended weekday hours for your convenience, and we welcome walk-ins.


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