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Symptoms and Treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) pain

Relief for everything from neck and shoulder pain to migraines is available at the dentist’s office. Dr. Frederick Asuncion of Asuncion Dental Group takes great pride in rarely having to refer his valued and loyal patients to specialists for care. He is a trusted expert in “bread and butter dentistry,” as well as in the care of complex and advanced oral and maxillofacial conditions, including Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD). In Frederick, Maryland, our office can be counted on for accurate diagnoses of TMD and related conditions, which informs treatment plans that really work to relieve pain and other symptoms rooted in the jaw joints.

TMJ vs. TMD 

While “TMJ” and “TMD” are often used interchangeably, these terms are actually two different things. The TMJs are the Temporomandibular Joints on either side of the face. They behave like hinges, which facilitate smooth jaw movements. When the TMJs are not functioning as they should be, this represents a collection of conditions known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMDs) or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD). In addition to pain that affects the jaw and interconnected structures and tissues (such as the back and ears), patients with TMD may:

  • Have problems opening or closing their mouths
  • Hear a clicking or popping sound when chewing or with other jaw movements
  • Grind their teeth 
  • Experience tinnitus or ringing in the ears 

Symptoms can vary dramatically from person to person. Sometimes, formerly minor discomfort can worsen and turn into debilitating pain and functional issues with time. So, it is important to get the clinically proven treatment that addresses the source of the problem. The “source” could range from the stress that is placed on the joint due to poor bite or misalignment to chronic teeth-grinding (bruxism). 

As with all treatments at Asuncion Dental Group, we take a conservative approach. Altering habits such as gum-chewing are simple and can ease the severity of pain and other symptoms. Likewise, a nightguard can cushion the jaw joints and surrounding tissues from the impact of chronic teeth-grinding. If these conservative methods fail to provide persistent relief from chronic pain, we may discuss other interventions such as surgical remedies. 

TTMDs can have a significant negative impact on the quality of your life. We offer life-changing, multi-disciplinary treatment. Contact us today to schedule your evaluation.