Woman Experiencing Jaw PainYou know you have normally functioning jaw joints until you experience any or all of these changes. One, there is a clicking sound when you open or close your mouth.  Two, there are moments when your jaw gets stuck or feels like popping. Three, a sudden change in the way your teeth fit together.

Pain and tenderness of the jaw muscles are likely to accompany these changes. The Jaw Health Resource has observed that for some, the soreness is temporary while others may experience otherwise.

Whether it is the first or the latter you are experiencing, you’ll want to know these updated facts about temporomandibular joint disorder for your health benefit.

TMD, according to National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw,” including the muscles that control its movements. A recent study on the accuracy of information on dental websites finds that many attributeTMD to a single disorder. These pieces of information can be misleading if not updated, the study concludes.

  • It is hard to tell if a person has TMD or not. However, researchers agree that it has three categories: myofascial pain, internal derangement of the joints, and arthritis. The first involves pain in the jaw muscles; the second, characterized by dislocated or displaced jaw, or damage to the condyle; and lastly, an inflammatory joint disorder that can cause a secondary condition such as TMD.
  • TMD’s causes are still unknown, and that makes you not alone in asking the same question. Researchers are also looking for answers, including the best way to treat this condition. Meanwhile, doctors recommend that patients avoid procedures that require a permanent change in their bite or jaw.
  • Simple self-care approaches are effective ways to ease TMD-related symptoms. Applying moist heat or taking pain relievers as well as learning ways to relax the jaw joints and muscles when chewing are a few examples. Mouthguards help keep teeth from being ruined.

Note that there is neither a dentist nor a doctor that specializes in TMD. It takes a group of specialists to diagnose and treat these conditions. Pain clinics in hospitals are a good starting point for seeking advice.