We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities. This website is currently being updated to enhance the usability and experience for persons with disabilities. If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call 978.470.4555 and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.


TMD: What is it, and how do you fix it?

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Dentistry

Have you ever experienced jaw pain? Maybe when you wake up in the morning you have tenderness in your face and problems opening your mouth, or maybe you have been hearing a clicking or popping sound when you chew. If you have experienced any of these symptoms you may have TMD otherwise known as temporomandibular disorder.

The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects the jaw to the bones in the skull. This joint makes it possible for the jaw to move up and down, side to side, and also allows for chewing, talking, and yawning to take place.

While the cause of TMD is not certain, it is believed that activities such as grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis, and stress are all causes of TMD. There are many symptoms associated with TMD which typically affects people ages 20 to 40. You may have problems opening your mouth wide, experience pain or tenderness in the jaw joint or neck and shoulders. Clicking and popping when chewing could also occur, along with swelling on the side of your face. Headaches, toothaches, and earaches are also common symptom.

While TMD is a painful disorder that alters your day-to-day activities, the good news is that your dentist can help fix it. Here are three things a dentist might try to treat TMD.

The right medication can make a huge difference in alleviating the pain caused by TMD. Often times a muscle relaxer will be prescribed to relax the jaw if you grind or clench your teeth. A dentist may also prescribe medications for pain or swelling if your symptoms are severe.

2.Splint or night guard
Relieving your TMD symptoms may be as simple as popping in a night guard before going to bed. Night guards and sprints help protect your teeth from clenching and grinding which helps correct your bite. A night guard is worn when sleeping, while a splint is worn all the time. Ask your dentist if a night guard or splint is right for you.

3.Dental work
If your TMD is so severe, and non-surgical tactics haven’t worked, there are multiple procedures your dentist can perform in order to ease the pain. A dentist can replace missing teeth, or add crowns, bridges, or even add braces to help correct your bite.

Visit your dentist if you are having jaw pain, and he or she can find the right solution for you.


Diet Soda Habit as Bad for Teeth as Meth Addiction, Study Claims

Between the crack of the bottle cap, the bubbly fizz, the first refreshing sip, and zero calories to boot—diet soda can be totally addicting. But is it possible to enjoy this delight without any side effects? A new study states that diet soda could indeed be as “damaging to teeth as methamphetamine, or cocaine.” When […]


Are you better off without toothpaste?

When you think of dental hygiene, a toothbrush and toothpaste immediately come to mind. A cult has been built around toothpaste – a thousand different varieties, brands, flavors, and functions exist. Each new commercial touts a different dentist’s recommendation, and consumers are left baffled in the drugstore aisle wondering if whitening specialties really work. Unfortunately, […]


Recognizing and Treating Gingivitis

When we think about oral health, one of the major parts of our mouth that can cause problems is the gum. If gums become red and often bleed, it may be an indication of gum disease. There are two different types of gum disease. One is called gingivitis and the other, periodontitis. Periodontitis is the […]


Bridges vs. Implants

If you are missing several teeth you know how difficult it can be. Missing teeth can cause problems with speech, chewing, and in some more serious cases, even the overall shape of the face. While these challenges may seem difficult and impossible to fix, there are things that can be done to restore your smile […]


How to Handle a Dental Emergency

Whether it was a car accident, a fall, or some other traumatic mishap that led to you harming your teeth, here is a guide on what to do if you chip, crack, break, dislodge, or lose a tooth. Oftentimes, traumatic accidents can damage your teeth. When that occurs, a dentist can help fix the problem, […]

69 Park Street, Andover, MA 01810
| |
Fax: 978.470.8844
  • Call 978.470.4555 or fill out the form below.

[contact-form-7 id="244" title="Request Appointment"]
[contact-form-7 id="1341" title="A04 Appointment"]