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TMD or temporomandibular disorders are a set of conditions that affect the side of the face around the temporomandibular joint. There are many “treatments” claiming to cure any number of issues related to TMD. But what is TMD, what are the causes, and what are the best treatments?
The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jawbone to your skull. It is situated right in front of your ear. This joint acts like a sliding hinge to allow your jaw to open and close and move from side to side. When there are problems with this joint, due to a variety of factors, a patient can develop TMD.
Causes and Symptoms of TMD
Although the cause of TMD is not well understood, there are certain contributing factors. Injury or trauma to the jaw or face are a common factor. Bruxism/grinding of the teeth also puts an immense amount of pressure on the TM joint and causes this condition.
The symptoms of TMD can vary by individual. Some common symptoms include having a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth, pain around the joint, frequent headaches, neck aches and dizziness can all indicate a problem with the temporomandibular joint.
Treatments for TMD
Treatments vary depending on the individual’s symptoms. Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve painful symptoms. Hot/cold packs can help with the swelling or discomfort caused by TMD. Biofeedback and other stress reduction techniques can help to decrease tension, which may help reduce TMD symptoms.