Do you suffer from chronic earaches? Do you often experience tinnitus, or a constant ringing in the ears? If so, you may be exhibiting symptoms of a serious medical condition known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. According to some studies, as many as 10 million Americans show signs of TMJ disorder. In today’s blog, Mansfield family dentists, Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris, explain TMD and common ways of treating the disorder.


Causes and Symptoms of TMD


TMJ disorder results from strain on the temporomandibular joints. These joints connect your jaw to your skull and control all movement of the jaw, including chewing and talking. A variety of factors can lead to patients developing TMD. Often, the issue is hereditary; if a patient has a misaligned jaw or incorrect bite, this overworks the temporomandibular joints. Bruxism, a condition in which patients clench their jaw or grind their teeth, is another common cause.


The symptoms of TMJ disorder involve aches centered around the head, neck, and face. Patients often report a clicking or popping sound in the jaw. Other times, sufferers experience headaches, migraines, and frequent earaches.



Treating TMJ Disorder


In many instances, a few simple steps can address TMD-related pain. Bruxism is many times caused by an increase in stress and anxiety. By reducing the stress in your life, you might eliminate teeth grinding and decrease symptoms of TMJ disorder. Patients should also forgo chewing gum or eating hard foods. This creates additional strain on the jaw joints, exacerbating the symptoms of TMD.


Drs. Jones or Harris will take x-rays and perform a manual exam of your teeth and jaw to diagnose the severity of your TMD. From there, the dentist can recommend a treatment plan. Sometimes an oral appliance, or night guard, can be prescribed.  Worn while the patient sleeps, a night guard prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching. Teeth grinding is rendered impossible, easing TMD-related pain.


Schedule an Appointment with Your Mansfield Dentists


If you think you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, schedule a consultation with your Mansfield family dentists today. Contact your 76063 dentist by calling (817) 259-1357. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris offer our patients the latest in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. We proudly serve Mansfield and the surrounding communities of South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, and Midlothian.