Man holding his temples in painDid you know that an estimated 10 million American adults experience problems with their TMJ (or temporomandibular joint)? While most people don’t give their TMJ a second thought, it can be the only thing that you think about if you have problems with it! Also called TMD (temporomandibular disorder), this condition can lead to many symptoms, including chronic headaches that impact your day-to-day life. The good news? A dentist in West Bloomfield can provide simple, non-invasive TMJ therapy to restore your quality of life. Keep reading to learn more about TMD and what kind of treatment is available. You’ll be glad you did!

How Does TMD Develop?

The temporomandibular joint is the only bilateral joint in the body, so the left and right side have to work in perfect harmony with one another. This also makes it a complicated joint, so it’s a bit easier for something to go wrong with it.

There are multiple risk factors for TMD, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • An injury to the head, neck or jaw
  • Persistent nighttime clenching or grinding
  • Bite or alignment issues such as an overbite, underbite or open bite
  • Poor posture
  • Arthritis

What Are the Symptoms of TMD?

Since everything in the head and neck is closely connected to the TMJ, it’s no surprise that headaches are one of the most common symptoms of TMD. In addition to headaches, here are some other symptoms also associated with it:

  • Locked jaw
  • Earaches or neck pain
  • Clicking or popping of the TMJ on one or both sides
  • Generalized jaw stiffness and pain
  • Damage to your teeth such as fractures, chips or a flattening of the chewing surface

How Is TMD Diagnosed and Treated?

If you have headaches or other symptoms and think you might have TMD, the first step is a consultation with a dentist. They’ll start by reviewing your medical and dental history and asking you in-depth questions about your symptoms. Then they’ll examine your teeth and jaws and look at how your teeth come together.

If you are diagnosed with this disorder, you’ll be glad to know that TMJ therapy in West Bloomfield is easier than you might think and includes many non-surgical options.

Since each patient is unique and has different root causes behind their TMD, you’ll be thoroughly evaluated to determine the treatment that fits your needs the best. This could be a TMJ splint to correct the way the joint functions, or adjustments to the teeth or existing dental work to fix bite alignment issues.

Living with headaches and other TMD symptoms impacts your entire life. But, with non-surgical TMJ therapy, you can get relief from your symptoms and enjoy great oral health for many years.

About the Author

In addition to having decades of experience as a family dentist in West Bloomfield, Dr. Robert William Wood also has advanced training from the College of Osteopathic Medicine. By combining this specialized training with his experience, he’s become an expert at providing relief from TMD symptoms like headaches and chronic pain. If you suffer from headaches or jaw problems and have any questions, he can be reached via his website.