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Having to experience any physical pain is never really anyone’s ideal good time. Pain occurring in the facial area can be one of the more annoying and painful areas to endure. Facial pain can make it difficult to concentrate, perform daily tasks, even the slightest movements can send even more pain throughout the area. There are millions of individuals who suffer from chronic facial and neck pain, some alongside severe migraines and headaches. Many of these cases can actually be linked with Temporomandibular Disorder.

Temporomandibular Disorder, also known as TMD, occurs when the joints that connect your jaw will not work properly. In your lower jawbone, there are hinge-like joints, known as your temporomandibular joints, TMJ for short, connect your jaw to your skull. These very intricate joints are comprised of muscle, bone, disks, and ligaments that allow you to move your jaw backwards, forwards, and from side to side. Your joints experience a lot of exercise throughout the day as they help you to speak, chew, swallow, and even yawn. While some of the bigger problems of TMJ-TMD would be the pain or movement restrictions, there are still other symptoms that may also be experienced with it such as:

• Frequent headaches
• Migraine headaches
• Chronic neck aches
• Pain, stuffiness, or ringing in the ears
• Pain in the jaw
• Swelling on the side of face
• Dizziness
• Pain while chewing
• Popping or clicking sound when the jaw moves
• Muscles spasms in the jaw area or jaw locks making it difficult to open/ close your mouth
• Teeth alignment has changed

Though not all individuals who suffer from TMD or TMJ experience all these symptoms, there is still a great possibility. It is always best to consult with your dentist to examine and consult with. Once you have consulted and the TMJ, or TMD, is confirmed, you can begin a specialized TMJ treatment plan to help reduce symptoms.

Some patients who have TMJ/TMD have inherited it through genetics. If there is a history of Temporomandibular Disorder in your family, consult with your dentist to help conclude if this is the source of your pain. TMJ or TMD can occur from other situations such as:
• Chronic clenching/ grinding of teeth
• Stress and/or anxiety that causes tightening of jaw and facial muscles
• An injury such as whiplash or a heavy blow that affected the jaw
• Arthritis in joint
• Disc erosion
• Connective tissue diseases that affect the joints
• Poor posture

Symptoms can come and go, usually waxing or waning with flair ups, which can be associated with the level of muscle activity. Just because one day your jaw may be giving you a little pain and then the next day you are back to normal, does not mean that you do or do not have TMJ. Consulting with your dentist or orthodontist is the best way to determine if you have Temporomandibular Disorder.

If you believe that your symptoms are due to TMJ or TMD, please contact Impeccable Smiles today for a consultation and see if you are a viable candidate for TMD treatment.