21 Westbrook Court, East Ellijay, GA 30536, (706) 635-2218


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By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 24, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ/ TMD  

If your jaw hurts when you eat, yawn or talk, you may have temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The disorder affects an estimated 10 million Americans and is more common in women than in men. Your Ellijay, GA dentists, doctors David Settel, Cindy Hall, Ron Reid and Wesley Burke of East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are here to share information about TMD symptoms and treatments.TMJ

Is it TMJ or TMD?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your head just below your ears. Pain occurs when the bones, muscles and ligaments in the joint aren't in alignment. Some people refer to the problem as TMJ and some call it TMD. No matter which term you prefer, the symptoms and treatments are the same.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of TMJ/TMD can vary from mild to severe. You may notice symptoms occasionally or may experience constant pain. Common symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Clicking or popping sounds that occur when you open or close your mouth
  • Stiff, achy jaw and neck muscles
  • Ear pain or pressure in the ears
  • Ringing, cracking or popping sounds in the ears
  • Tense neck and shoulder muscles
  • Frequent tension headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or pain in your cheek, chin or face
  • Alignment problems with your upper and lower teeth
  • Temporary locking of your jaw when you open your mouth

What causes TMJ/TMD?

It's not always easy to determine a cause of the disorder, although it can occur if you grind or clench your teeth at night, have arthritis or have suffered a jaw injury.

What types of treatments can help?

Ice packs and over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce symptoms if you have mild or occasional TMJ/TMD. If pain is chronic or severe, your Ellijay dentist may suggest a night guard to prevent grinding or may recommend an oral splint. The splint gradually moves your jaw back into alignment and reduces muscle tension. Treating bite issues can also help reduce symptoms. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended.

TMJ/TMD pain doesn't have to ruin your day. Call your Ellijay, GA dentists at East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (706) 635-2218. They'll evaluate your problem and create a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.