Call Today: 303-730-1222
Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.
When You Have Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)Si usted tiene trastorno temporomandibular (TTM)

When You Have Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a ball-and-socket joint located where the upper and lower jaws meet. The TMJ and its nearby muscles make up a complex, loosely connected system. Because of this, a problem in one part of the system can affect the other parts. This can cause you to have temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

 

How the Temporomandibular Joint Works

You have one joint on each side of your mouth that together make up the TMJ. These joints are part of a large group of muscles, ligaments, and bones that work together as a system. When the system is healthy, you can talk, chew, and even yawn in comfort. Muscles contract and relax to open and close the joint. The disk absorbs pressure in the joint. It also allows the jaws to open and close smoothly. Ligaments connect the jaw bones to the skull. They also support the joint.

Common Temporomandibular Problems

When there is a problem with the TMJ and its related system, you can develop TMD. Common TMD problems include tight muscles, inflamed joints, and damaged joints.

In some cases, symptoms may be related to the teeth or bite.

  • Tight muscles: The muscles surrounding the TMJ can go into spasm (tighten) and cause pain. Referred pain occurs in a part of the body separate from the source of the problem. For example, pain in the face or teeth could be coming from a problem in the TMJ. Myofascial pain occurs in soft tissues, such as muscle. Trigger points in these pain areas often cause referred pain. You may feel jaw, neck, or shoulder pain.

  • Inflamed joints: Inflammation may include pain, redness, heat, swelling, or loss of function. Synovitis occurs when certain tissues surrounding the TMJ become inflamed. It causes pain that increases with jaw movement. Inflamed ligaments can be caused by strain or injury. When this happens, the ligaments are unable to support the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is a joint disease. It leads to inflammation in the TMJ.

  • Damaged joints: Many people hear clicking when their jaw moves. If you feel pain along with the noise, the joint may be damaged. Impingement occurs when the disk slips out of place (displacement). This causes the jaw to catch. As the disk slips, you may hear a clicking sound. Locked jaw occurs when the disk gets stuck in one position. As a result, the jaw locks open or closed. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease. It causes the TMJ to wear away (degenerate). This leads to pain during movement.

Other Problems

The parts of the jaw and mouth make up a single unit. That's why a problem in one area can cause symptoms elsewhere. Teeth or bite problems associated with TMD include:

  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth side to side)

  • Clenching (biting down on your teeth)

  • Malocclusion (when the teeth or bite is out of alignment)

Your healthcare provider will give you more information about these problems if needed.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified:

 

The solution to all your smile care needs is here at Grout Family Dentistry. Call us at 303-730-1222 or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to arrange your consultation. We offer our services to residents of Arapahoe County, Denver County, Douglas County and nearby locatioons, including Englewood, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Southglenn and Denver, CO.

Grout Family Dentistry

Meet our Masters of Excellence in Adult & Family Dentistry

Grout Family Dentistry

Patient Reviews

The staff at Grout Family Dentistry is always so friendly and knowledgeable. Dr.Ron is always so thorough with his exam and is really good about explaining the status and health of my teeth. He always greets his patients with a warm smile and a funny joke. I would highly recommend Grout Family Dentistry to those looking for a new, quality and reliable dentist.

Read more