Seven Symptoms That Mean You May Have TMD

man holding jaw

When the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is fatigued or damaged, it can lead to symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction or disorders (TMD). Dr. Michaela Tozzi can treat your TMD with TMJ therapy. She is a board-certified doctor of dental medicine who is highly-trained to diagnose and treat many oral health conditions, including TMD. At a dental exam, she can create a custom treatment plan for patients in the Las Vegas, NV area that focuses on restoring their oral health at Michaela Tozzi, DMD in Las Vegas, NV. During this exam, she can observe ta patient’s jaw’s range of motion and suggest the best possible TMD treatment to restore an unaligned jaw.

Understanding the TMJ

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint that connects the skull directly to the lower jaw. It should slide forward freely when you are chewing or biting. When these muscles and joints are overworked, inflamed, or damaged, our patients in Las Vegas, NV will feel TMD symptoms. TMD is any disorder that affects the TMJ from working its best.

Causes of TMD

This is sometimes caused by mechanical issues since the TMJit has sliding parts that are separated by shock-absorbing discs that should be able to move freely. When any dysfunction exists, this disk erodes or shifts out of alignment, which can cause jaw popping and clicking. Dr. Tozzi helps her patients treat their TMD symptoms. Untreated TMD can lead to many serious health problems.

TMD symptoms

Temporomandibular joint disorders are disorders that affect the TMJ, jaw muscles, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain, as well as any problems that affect this system. There are a number of symptoms that may indicate TMD, including:

  1. Jaw clicking or popping

  2. Frequent headaches or earaches

  3. Pain in the face, ear, or jaw

  4. Tooth sensitivity

  5. Ringing ears

  6. A stuck or stiff jaw

  7. Trouble chewing

When you notice any of these TMD symptoms, or any unusual dental pain, it’s important to contact Dr. Tozzi for a dental exam that will address TMJ pain.

Diagnosing TMD

Dr. Tozzi offers TMJ evaluation visits to patients in Las Vegas, NV experiencing TMD symptoms. During these visits, she asks patients questions, and learn about their symptoms and medical history. Next, she observes the jaw’s range of motion while listening to the sounds that the jaw makes when patients open and close their mouths. X-rays are taken to look closely at the joint.

After TMD is diagnosed, a bite analysis can be used to help her choose the best TMJ therapy. She will take into account a patient’s age, health, how well they can handle therapies, how long the condition has been causing TMJ pain, and a patient’s preference to determine the best possible TMJ therapy.

TMJ therapy options

A conservative TMJ therapy option is a night guard; this is especially great for those who suffer from teeth grinding and clenching. They are custom made to fit each patient comfortably, according to their particular bite. Dr. Tozzi also uses BOTOX® or Dysport® to relax muscles and to reduce TMJ pain. Laser treatment is also used to treat TMD. When these TMJ treatments aren’t effective enough, Dr. Tozzi can recommend crowns, bridges, or other dental appliances.

What causes TMD?

TMD can be caused by many things, including:

  • An injury to the jaw that affects the muscles of the head or neck

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ

  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ

  • Dislocation of the soft disc or cushion between the ball and socket

  • Stress, which causes patients to tighten the facial muscles

Learn more about TMJ therapy treatment

When you’re experiencing frequent headaches or earaches, or a jaw that is clicking or popping, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our TMJ specialist, Dr. Michaela Tozzi. When TMD is left untreated, its symptoms can worsen quickly. Our team provides TMJ therapy options to patients in the Las Vegas, NV area to help relieve their TMJ pain. To learn more about how to relieve your TMJ pain and start TMJ therapy, call to schedule an appointment at Michaela Tozzi, DMD.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.