By Liane Dornheim, Psy. D.
Do you suffer from pain when you chew or move your jaw?
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) occurs as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.
Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMD. Other possible causes in teeth grinding (bruxism) or clenching, jaw bone dislocations, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in jaw, and stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
TMD can cause moderate to severe pain in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide. Other common symptoms may include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, ear aches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).
How can TMD be treated?
There are several ways to treat TMD including night guards and medication. A proven and relatively non-invasive treatment for TMD is a Biofeedback-Assisted Relaxation Training in which one learns to “master” involuntary TM joint movements while learning how to reduce joint tension.
For more information, call The Center for Pyschological Fitness at 954-434-1886.