Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD) is a complicated condition. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 10 million Americans suffer from this jaw disorder. However, we continue to search for what exactly causes it. As the search continues, though, we begin to learn what works best for treatment, potential causes and a list of never-ending symptoms.

To help you get a better understanding of TMD, let’s take a closer look at some of the causes, symptoms and treatment options.

What are the causes of TMD?

Most people experience an onset of symptoms during their teenage years because their jaw is developing at a different pace than their skull. There is also a higher frequency of TMD among women, but that is still unclear because women are often better at seeking care for chronic health conditions than men, accounting for higher rates of TMD.

Some groups that are at a greater risk for developing TMD include those with:

  • Osteoporosis.
  • Rheumatological concerns.
  • Headaches.
  • Conditions where the bone or cartilage are undergoing changes.

Women might also experience a resurgence in TMD symptoms when they enter menopause.

What TMD treatment options are available?

For many people, TMD treatment might include adjusting daily tasks, such as the food they are eating on a daily basis. This might help the pain go away and prevent it from worsening. However, it will not cure it. If your TMJ symptoms continue to worsen, it is important to seek proper intervention.

First, try at-home pain relief remedies, such as an ice pack or warm compress, over-the-counter pain medication, stress reduction techniques or jaw exercises. Further treatment might also include the use of an oral appliance to help minimize pressure on your jaw and re-adjust the alignment.

Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on TMD and how we can help.