Our Dental Blog

Posts for: November, 2021

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
November 08, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj   TMD  

Jaw muscle pain and tightness can be very uncomfortable. If you experience such issues near your ear or jaw, you should seek treatment for TMD/TMJ in Decatur, IL. At Gentle Art of Dentistry, Dr. Carol Cunningham and Dr. Daniel Jurgens can help diagnose and treat this uncomfortable jaw muscle issue.

What is TMD/TMJ?

TMD/TMJ refers to ongoing pain in the area near the ear, jaw, or muscles on the side of your face. TMD is short for Temporomandibular disorders, but sometimes people incorrectly use the abbreviation TMJ. TMJ is short for the temporomandibular joint, which is the name of the jaw joint.

What Are Common Signs of TMD and TMJ?

You probably have TMD if you experience the following symptoms such as muscle pain in the cheeks or temples, clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth, and jaw joint pain. The clicking sound is not automatically a sign of TMD. If it is accompanied by pain or limited function, then you most likely have TMD.

Muscle pain in your jaw when closing your mouth may be a result of jaw clenching and teeth grinding at night. Sleeping with a nightguard is very helpful in this situation. Based on X-rays, it is possible to have signs of arthritis in the jaw without the pain associated with TMD.

If you have signs of TMD/TMJ in Decatur, IL, your dentists can help develop a plan to manage the pain and possibly treat it. Home remedies include reducing jaw stress by eating softer foods or using ice or heat compression on the painful area. We may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication in some cases. In severe cases, we may have to recommend orthodontic treatment.
Instead of suffering through jaw pain, contact your dentists for help. Visit us at Gentle Art of Dentistry for TMD/TMJ treatment in Decatur, IL. Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Jurgens will use their professional expertise to help you manage this often painful jaw joint condition. Call us at (217) 422-7448 for an appointment today.