TMJ and TMD refer to conditions that impact the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. This article will explain the differences between TMJ and TMD, and offer some treatment options for your jaw pain.
What is TMJ & TMD?
TMD stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders and refers to any painful condition that relates to the temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull. Colloquially, many people refer to these conditions as TMJ (Themporomandibular Joint), but the correct medical term is TMD. Many factors can lead to TMD pain including acute injury, whiplash, grinding your teeth, and arthritis, to name a few.
The symptoms of TMJ can include any or all of the following:
- Pain in the jaw or face
- Inability to open or close your mouth fully (aka “lock jaw”)
- Popping, clicking, or cracking sounds in your jaw joints while chewing
- Swelling or tenderness on the sides of your face
- Headaches or toothaches
Some cases of TMD cause no symptoms, or resolve on their own given time. Other patients experience extreme pain and need to be treated for the condition.
Treatment Options for TMD
Treating jaw pain and TMD requires an accurate diagnosis. Your dentist will check for TMJ issues during routine checkups. Tell them if you are experiencing any TMD related symptoms. If so you may need to see a pain management physician for full treatment. You can attempt to resolve jaw pain symptoms with DIY treatments like over-the-counter medications, ice packs, and relaxation techniques. If these methods don’t work, you may need to consider prescription meds, trigger point injections, or regenerative medicine therapies like PRP or prolotherapy.
Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN has been assisting Minnesotans with their jaw pain for over two decades. Our Twin Cities pain management doctors have the knowledge and experience to help craft a treatment plan that fits your specific needs. Contact our clinic today to set up your appointment.