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Posted on 12/10/2017 by Dr. Michael Allard
Temporomandibular disorders or TMDs are conditions related to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or the small ball-and-socket joint that you can feel moving when you put your fingers in front of your ears and open your mouth. Studies have shown that about 30% of people experience TMD symptoms with women being more susceptible than men.
Signs of TMD include pain in the TMJ area, locked jaw, spasms of the facial muscles, popping sound in the jaw area, and headache. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should come see us for evaluation, so we can accurately diagnose your condition.
How to Manage TMDIf you are already experiencing signs of TMD, it is best that you avoid several habits that can make your condition much worse. One such habit is taking big bites.
You may not be aware of it, but when you force your mouth to open wide, your TMJ is working doubly hard, the same way when you overextend your knee joints when doing strenuous activities without proper care. It is better and more TMJ-friendly if you will cut your food into smaller pieces, so it can comfortably fit your mouth.
Another habit to avoid is constantly chewing gum. While the increase saliva flow from gum chewing is good for your teeth, constant chewing can cause serious problems if you are already experiencing TMD symptoms as it forces your TMJ to work overtime.
If you are having a hard time kicking off the habit, you can try sucking on candies for as long as you will not bite or chew them.
If you are a coffeeholic, you have no choice but to significantly cut down on your caffeine consumption. Too much caffeine causes tensed muscles and grinding teeth, which are both harmful to your TMJ.
While TMD can cause you much discomfort, it is still manageable and treatable given proper care and control of habits. Call us today so we can give you more information about this disorder and how we can help you address it.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (623) 738-2564 today.