Have you ever felt like your jaw was popping? Maybe you’ve even heard a “popping” sound when eating or speaking. Either way, this signals a complicated condition called temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD in Elgin. While many people refer to this condition as TMJ, that is actually the abbreviation of the temporomandibular joint, which is connected to your jaw–it can cause pain when irritated.
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) in Elgin describes a group of conditions that affect the muscles in your jaw. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the main cause of pain in these cases. These joints connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. Located on each side of your head, these joints work together so you can do simple, everyday things like chewing your food, speaking to a friend or swallowing your favorite drink.
TMJ disorders often cause tenderness in the jaw, facial pain and difficulty moving the joint. You may also notice a clicking, grating, and/or be popping noise when you move your jaw. Others may experience lockjaw or difficulty opening their mouth all the way.
Conditions Contributing to TMD in Elgin
While there is no known cause, TMD affects millions of Americans. Trauma to the jaw or face usually plays a role in the development of this condition, but these conditions are also believed to contribute to the development of TMD:
- Osteoarthritis: Over time, joints become prone to arthritis—this is no different for the temporomandibular joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Inflammation of the temporomandibular joints can cause cartilage to break down, and joints become susceptible to erosion.
- Bruxism: Teeth grinding can cause teeth to wear down and become misaligned, causing chewing muscles to change.
- Clenching: Stress is often associated with clenching, which can cause facial pain around the temporomandibular joints.
Contact Karr and Blazer Dental in Elgin for TMD information and to see if you suffer from this condition.