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The causes and symptoms of TMD

TMD, Temporomandibular disorder, is something that happens when a person has a problem with their jaw, the jaws joint and the muscles responsible for moving the jaw and chewing. This problem is often referred to as TMJ Kittanning PA, this is incorrect; TMJ is the joint itself.

What is TMJ, the temporomandibular joint?

The TMJ Kittanning PA is the joint that allows for the hinging of the lower jaw to the temporal bone which is right in front of the ear on both sides of the skull. These two joints are very flexible; this allows for talking, chewing and yawning. The joint allows the jaw to move vertically as well as horizontally. The muscles which surround the joint are what control the action and position of the jaw.

What are the causes of TMD?

Dentists are not really sure exactly what the cause of TMD is, but it is believed that it is symptomatic with jaw muscle problems or with the jaw joint itself. It is known that a heavy blow to the head or neck, or whiplash suffered in a car accident can lead to TMD.

Other possible causes are:

* Grinding the teeth or clenching of the jaw

* Dislocation of the disc which is located in the ball and socket of the jaw joint

* Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ itself

* Tightening of the jaw muscles, often caused by a stressful situation

What are the symptoms of TMD?

People who suffer from TMJ in Kittanning PA often have severe pain that can at best be temporary, or at worst, last for many years. It appears to attack people in the age group 20 to 40, and it is more prevalent in women than men.

The most common symptoms are:

* Tenderness or pain in the area of the jaw joint, the face or the neck and shoulders

* Discomfort when chewing, speaking or yawning or otherwise opening the mouth wide

* A clicking or popping sound from the jaw joint when eating or speaking

* The inability to open the mouth wide

* Jaws that tend to stick in either the open or closed position

* A feeling that the upper and lower jaws do not fit together properly

* Facial swelling and a sensation of tiredness in the face

How TMD is first diagnosed?

There is a host of different conditions, which have similar symptoms to TMD. A toothache, sinusitis, gum disease or arthritis has similar effects. Only a dentist can properly diagnose the problem when he performs a thorough examination of the area.

The dentist will examine your TMJ Kittanning PA, looking for any sensation of pain or tenderness. He will listen for the telltale clicking sound or grating during movement of the jaw. The dentist may order panoramic X-Rays or MRI to allow him a full view of the entire jaw area and the soft tissue, such as the disc.

If you think you are suffering from TMJ in Kittanning PA then it is recommended you make an appointment with Quad County Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. They offer a wide range of oral surgery services.