The jaw is one of the most remarkable parts of the human body. It is both a hinge joint and a sliding joint, and because of this dual function, we are able to move it up and down and in circular motions. This enables us to talk, chew, and yawn, among many other activities. As we know quite well at Poss Sleep Apnea and TMJ Solutiosn in Brentwood TN, there is no other joint quite like it.
We also know quite well that things can go wrong with the jaw, and result in a painful condition called Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD. TMD affects millions of Americans – by one estimate, anywhere from ten to thirty million.
That’s a lot of people in pain.
What Is TMD?
TMD, sometimes called TMJ, is a complex condition. Surprisingly it does not have a precise definition. What we can say with certainty is that it involves varying degress of pain in the muscles and/or joints that move the jaw.
In addition to jaw pain, people with TMD/TMJ may experience:
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
- Pain when chewing, or opening wide
- Pain in the face, neck, or head
Any of these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have TMD. But if you suspect you might have it, you can try a simple test at home:
Put your finger over the joint in front of either ear
- Slightly open your jaw
- Gradually open it wider until you feel joint movement
- If you feel or hear a clicking or grating, or if there is any pain at all, it may be a sign of TMD.
Of course, this test is not a substitute for a professional diagnosis. At Poss Sleep Apnea & TMJ Solutions in Brentwood TN, we use advanced technology to get the most accurate diagnosis possible. For those who do have it, we customize a treatment plan that is aimed at both short and long-term solutions. Please call us to schedule an appointment.