Neuromuscular – Dallas Cosmetic Dental: Gary Alhadef DDS

What is TMD?

TMD affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and muscles. The temporomandibular joints are ball and socket joints found on either side of your jaw that connect your upper and lower jaws to the skull. The TMJs articulate the jawbone with the skull and act like a hinge. Without your TMJs, you could not chew, speak, or even open and close your mouth. You can find your TMJs by setting a finger just in front of each ear and opening and shutting your jaw. In each TMJ, there is a small circle of cartilage that serves as a cushion for your jaw as it moves, preventing your jawbone from rubbing against your skull. This buffering disc helps provide smooth movement and prevents the bones from grinding against each other and from wearing down.

If your TMJs are in good condition, your facial muscles will move your jaw easily in several directions. Any problem that causes dysfunction or pain to this system is known as TMD. When the TMJs are irritated or inflamed, or when the discs are damaged, patients will likely suffer pain. This pain can manifest itself in their jaws and neck, as a clicking sensation when moving their jaws, or even as backaches or headaches..

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