While symptoms of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) vary, the most common symptoms include:
- Dull pain in the jaw joint or surrounding areas
- Problems using the jaw or inability to open the mouth comfortably
- Clicking or grating sound from the jaw joint
- Locking of the jaw upon opening the mouth
- A bite that feels uncomfortable or misaligned
- A headache, neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Swelling of the jaw or on the side of the face
- Ringing in ears or hearing loss
Treatment for TMD involves relaxation of the jaw muscles and restoration of the jaw joint back to an unstrained position. This can involve the utilization of a plastic oral appliance or an adjustment of the teeth to correct any misalignments of the bite.
If TMD has been present for a long time or if a patient is suffering from severe trauma, more involved medical or dental procedures may be required. Because untreated TMD may result in increasing discomfort or arthritis of the jaw joint, early detection is the goal.