TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint, and TMD is the disorder that causes problems in this joint, whether by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Cartilage buffers the two bones and five muscles that meet, but any problems in this area can create quite a bit of pain and biting difficulties.
You may be wondering if this disease can help explain some of the difficulties you have with your mouth. Interestingly, many of the symptoms of TMD may be something that you deal with every day but never thought of as related to your jaw. They can include:
Women are actually nine times more likely than men to develop TMJ, for a variety of reasons that scientists are still researching. Because one of the leading causes of TMJ is stress, doctors think this statistic may be related to the different life stressors women experience. There are also ties to the physical structure of the female mouth, migraines, teeth grinding, and arthritis. They have also discovered a link between the TMJ and certain female hormone receptors that are not present in the male TMJ.
Dental treatments for TMD by your Midland Texas dentist can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, and filling gaps between teeth. There is no one solution that is right for all cases, and Dr. Bell will help you discover what TMD treatment is right for you. Occasionally a custom mouth guard is used to prevent clenching or grinding that may be contributing to the problem. If TMD is left untreated, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.