Here at Newport Pagnell Dentail Clinic we often see patients complaining of problems or pain from their temporomandibular joint (jaw).

Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD for short, is the condition affecting the movement of the jaw. It’s not usually serious and generally gets better on its own.

TMD pain may be worse when chewing or when you feel stressed, it can also stop you from getting a good night’s sleep. TMD can be caused by teeth grinding, wear and tear of the joint, a blow to the head or face, stress, or an uneven bite.

Do you have TMD?

Signs of TMD include:

  • pain around your jaw, ear and temple
  • clicking, popping or grinding noises when you move your jaw
  • a headache around your temples
  • difficulty opening your mouth fully
  • your jaw locking when you open your mouth

How can you ease TMD yourself?

There are some simple things you can do to try to reduce your jaw pain.

Do

  • eat soft food, like pasta, omelettes and soup
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • hold ice packs or heat packs to the jaw, whichever feels better
  • massage the painful jaw muscles
  • try to find ways to relax

Don’t

  • chew gum or pen tops
  • bite food with your front teeth
  • yawn too wide
  • bite your nails
  • clench your teeth – apart from when eating, your teeth should be apart
  • rest your chin on your hand

Try either:

  • a pack of frozen peas, wrapped in a tea towel, for no more than 5 minutes at a time, or
  • a hot water bottle, wrapped in a tea towel, twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes

See your Dentist if:

  • you’re unable to eat or drink
  • the pain is affecting your life
  • the pain is affecting your sleep
  • the pain and discomfort keep coming back

Treatment from your Dentist

Your dentist may suggest:

  • stronger painkillers
  • relaxation techniques to reduce stress
  • ways to improve your sleep
  • have a night guard made if teeth grinding might be an issue
  • seeing a psychologist, if stress and anxiety are making your pain worse

If these treatments don’t help, you may be referred to a specialist in joint problems to discuss other options, such as painkilling injections or surgery.

Please follow the link below for more advice from the NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/temporomandibular-disorder-tmd/

If you require more information on this subject or wish to find out more about our Dental treatments that we offer here at Newport Pagnell Dental Clinic please feel free to contact us on 01908 610536

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