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Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw? Pain may be a sign of temporomandibular dysfunction or (TMD). Dr. Conner, your Hixon dentist can identify TMD and get you on a course of treatment to help you start feeling better.

What is TMD/TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It allows you to move your jaw up and down and side-to-side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn.

Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders, but you may also hear it referred to as TMJ, after the joint. Dr. Conner understands the pain and frustration TMD/TMJ can cause. Don’t put off getting yourself checked out another day—come in and see us today.

What are the symptoms of TMD/TMJ?

TMJ is painful. That pain can manifest differently depending on the patient. You may feel pain in the facial muscles and jaw joints that may even radiate into the neck. You might feel dizzy or get frequent headaches. You may feel pain in the jaw joint when you talk, chew, yawn or otherwise open and close your mouth.

Sometimes people mistake TMJ for ear problems as it can cause pain or ringing in the ears. You may also be able to hear popping, grating or clicking. Your face may swell on the affected side as well. Sometimes the jaw can lock in an open position, or a more closed mouthed position. The jaw may feel crooked and you may favor opening to one side over the other.

Muscle spasms may make it difficult to swallow and in some cases, patients feel dizzy and vomit because of their TMJ. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of TMJ, please don’t hesitate to come see us.

What causes TMD/TMJ?

Trauma, disease, wear or grinding, Osteoarthritis, or Rheumatoid arthritis can all lead to TMJ syndrome. It is not always clear what has caused the disorder.

What can I do about my TMD/TMJ?

First, seek a professional assessment. Dr. Connor can examine your jaw and refer you to the correct course of treatment. Depending on the severity of your disorder there is a wide range of options available. At-home care may include:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Using heat or ice
  • Avoiding extreme jaw movement
  • Taking over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol or ibuprofen
  • Keeping your teeth slightly apart

If Dr. Conner thinks symptoms will not subside using any of the at-home treatments she may determine you need further intervention like a night guard or splint to help with the clenching or grinding.

If you are worried about the costs of assessment or treatment of your TMJ, please know we offer an in office savings plan to our patients to help ease the potential worry of cost.

Give us a call today at (423) 301-2330 to get the relief you deserve. We provide Soddy Daisy, Signal Mountain, Chattanooga, Hixson, and Red Bank with TMD solutions.

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