Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS
wilmington de dentist

November Is National TMJ Awareness Month

November 9, 2022
Posted By: Dr. Bruce Matthews
tmj procedures in wilmington de

November is National TMJ Awareness Month, and we want to take the time to discuss this vital joint and how it impacts your body!

What Is the Difference Between TMJ and TMD?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and refers to your jaw joint, the most complicated joint in your body. Your jaw joint can move backward, forward, left and right, and up and down, which allows you to comfortably yawn, talk, laugh, bite, swallow, and chew. This is more movement than any other joint in the body provides.

When your jaw joint isn't functioning correctly, it can result in temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. This is a painful disorder that results in uncomfortable symptoms, such as:

  • Popping and clicking in your jaw
  • Your jaw locking open or closed
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Pain in your shoulders or neck
  • Tenderness when chewing

Patients with TMD may suffer from one or many of these symptoms, which can become very debilitating and significantly impact their quality of life.

How Do We Treat TMD?

Successfully treating TMD requires our dentists to get to the root cause of the problem. Once we do that, there are different paths we can recommend for treatment. Here are some examples:

  • If bite alignment is the cause of your TMD - Our dentists may recommend orthodontic treatment with clear aligners or braces to correct your bite.
  • If tooth clenching and grinding are the cause - Our dentists may recommend a night guard that you wear while you sleep to protect your teeth and relieve jaw tension.
  • If stress is the cause of your TMD - Our dentists may recommend some jaw exercises to relax tension in your muscles or some relaxation practices like yoga or meditation to relieve stress.

If you or a loved one is suffering from TMD or needs more information about jaw joint health, contact your trusted Wilmington, DE, dentist at (302) 475-9220 for more details.

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