As you get older, you expect a little bit of pain. Your body won’t let you put it through the same abuse you did as a teenager. When you were younger, playing basketball or hockey all day long left you feeling drained. If you tried that now, you would feel like you were hit by a truck. That’s just the price you pay as you get older.
Not every bit of pain is normal, however. If you are having pain in your jaw, neck, or back, you could be suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMD). And if you’re very stressed, that could be making things much worse.
TMJ vs. TMD
TMD is a disorder that affects your jaw joints. You have two of them, one on either side of your face. They are technically called your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Just like with your knee or elbow, your TMJs can can get sore. When you have a sore knee, you can rest it for a few days so it has time to heal.
But since you use your TMJs whenever you talk, eat, or drink, resting your jaw joint is a bit harder to do. When your TMJs start to give you problems, it’s called TMD. Because they are so similar, TMJ and TMD can often be used interchangeably.
Symptoms of TMD
TMD has several symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the following, you could very well have a problem with your jaw joints.
How Stress Affects TMD
The exact causes of TMD are not yet known, but we do know that stress is a major factor. There are several reasons for this.
How to get help
There’s a bit of a “chicken and the egg” problem here. Having problems with your jaw joints can add stress to your life, but stress can also help complicate TMD problems. Which came first? In the end, it doesn’t matter. You’re suffering and need help. Reducing your stress is the first step, but in this day and age, that’s often easier said than done. That’s where Orthodontic Affiliates can help. Our braces and even Invisalign orthodontic treatments can change the way your jaw comes together, reducing the stress you put on your jaw joints.
If you are having problem with your jaw joints, call us today at 888-722-5033. We have seven locations in northern Indiana, and you can get help with TMD problems at any one of them.
You may also make your appointment with us online; just fill out our web form and we will get right back with you to find a time and location that works best for you.
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