ortho 7/16/19 – gtg

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Temporomandibular Disorder

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurrent headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

Your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints, connect your lower jawbone to your skull. As you may imagine, these joints get quite a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.

Symptoms of TMD include:
Pain in the jaw area
Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
Frequent headaches or neck aches
Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
Swelling on the sides of the face
Muscle spasms in the jaw area
A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, let us know! We can help advise you as to whether they indicate the presence of TMD, and what sort of treatment is appropriate for you.

If you don’t have any of these symptoms, let’s keep it that way! There are some simple things you can do at home or work to prevent TMD from occurring in your jaw joints:

Relax your face – remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
Avoid grinding your teeth
Avoid constant gum chewing
Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder – either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
Practice good posture – keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
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