Have you ever talked to someone with a sore jaw, or had one yourself? Maybe you’ve been told things like “it must be TMJ” or “I have TMJ.” The truth is, we all have TMJ, or as it is more properly identified, a TMJ. You see, TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint, the joint which hinges on your jaw bone to your skull. Without this joint, we could not open and close our mouths to speak, eat, or breathe.

Unfortunately, sometimes our TMJ does flare up. This is known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD. It can also be referred to as TMJD.  Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is when those joints pop in and out of the socket, causing pain in the jaw, which often results in difficulty doing everyday things such as speaking, chewing, and breathing.

Furthermore, TMD can cause pain elsewhere in the body, including migraine headaches, back pain, neck pain, tooth grinding, and even tinnitus (ringing of the ears). This can seriously diminish your quality of life, and even damage your teeth!

Women of childbearing age are more likely to suffer from TMD than the rest of the population, though it is unknown why. Some experts believe it is due to hormonal shifts, while other cases can be attributed to stress or injury to the jaw.

The good news is that you don’t have to needlessly suffer from TMD. There are solutions available to correct this often debilitating condition.  Dr. Peterson is skilled at treating TMD and offers solutions such as orthodontics and custom orthotics which push your jaw into alignment. He can even offer bite guards to help with tooth grinding.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all for treating TMD. It depends on the individual mouth and the severity of the TMD case.

In the interim, it is recommended that patients suffering from TMD employ several treatment methods to ease the pain of TMD. Solutions like physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medications, and hot compresses can all temporarily help reduce the symptoms of TMD, but they are only temporary. To truly correct your TMD, a more in-depth plan of attack is needed.

Thankfully, Dr. Peterson offers several options that can help. If you are searching for a way to ease the pain of TMD, or if you believe you may have TMD, please reach out to Dr. Peterson for a consultation today!

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