Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) affect nearly 75% of the population at some point during their life. Luckily, not all of these people will require TMD treatment, but the symptoms can creep up in numerous people. TMD covers multiple symptoms in the jaw or face which include jaw soreness, headaches, jaw popping, and pain in the ears. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, describes the causes of TMD, and offers a helpful exercise routine for patients affected by TMD.
A large amount of patients suffer from TMD symptoms caused by bruxism. Grinding or clenching teeth: commonly referred to as bruxism. Although bruxism primarily occurs overnight, many patients grind or clench teeth during the day without their knowledge. Often, nutritional choices play a large role in whether or not someone grinds or clenches teeth.
One of the best strategies for reducing the risk for overnight teeth clenching involves removing sugar and caffeine from your diet after 4 pm, or 5 to 6 hours prior to your usual bedtime. In our Albuquerque dental office, we can custom fit a nightguard for you to wear overnight to reduce some of the symptoms caused by bruxism and TMD.
Stress serves as another very common cause of bruxism and TMD. Without even realizing their action, people under stress will tighten their muscles which can cause headaches and jaw soreness. Some daily habits could advance the progression of TMD symptoms. For example, many people tend to chew on pens or pencils as a nervous habit. The temporomandibular joint works like any other muscle in the body; the more you use your jaw during the jaw, the more soreness and tenderness will increase.
Bruxism and daily habits don’t cause all cases of TMD. In some cases, jaw pain, headaches, and popping sounds result from hereditary factors. For patients diagnosed with TMD, a small exercise program could relieve some of the soreness and relax facial muscles. Dr. Miller details the exercise program below.
Complete the following exercise program two or three times a day. All exercises described below should take about six minutes to complete.
To learn more about TMD and bruxism, make an appointment with your Albuquerque dentist by calling Snow Park Dental at (505) 596-4479. Located in the 87112 area, we proudly serve patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Edgewood, Corrales, Los Lumas, Tijeras, Mountain Air, Santa Fe, and Taos.
What Our patients