What is the distinction between TMJ, TMD, and CMD?
TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint or jaw joint in front of your ear. It is the articulation, or joint, between the temporal bone of your skull and your mandible or lower jaw. Your lower jaw below is separated by a cartilage disk from your temporal bone in the skull above. This joint allows you to open, close, protrude, retract, and move your lower jaw side-to-side.
TMD is an acronym for temporomandibular disorder or disorder of your Jaw joints. Common usage outside of the dental profession refers to these problems as TMJ.
CMD is an acronym for craniomandibular disorder. CMD describes a complex chronic and progressive disorder involving your skull, lower jaw, neck or cervical vertebrae, and the muscles that support these structures. CMD broadens the holistic scope of TMD treatment to include the neck. The F-S Index developed by Dr. Lawrence A. Funt and Dr. Brendan Stack, shows the chronic, progressive increase in the signs and symptoms of Craniomandibular pain disorder.
The incidence of TMD is highest in females between the ages of 20 and 44
Millions of Americans suffer from undiagnosed TMD. Epidemiologic studies report the incidence is highest (37 to 63% depending on the study) in women between the ages of 20 and 44. The incidence is 7:1 to 17:1 times higher in females than in males. Joint laxity due to estrogen may be the cause.
What are the common symptoms of a TMJ disorder?
Often, the first sign of TMD is a joint vibration, clicking, or popping sound originating in your jaw joint(s), especially when you open widely. It is the sound of your articular cartilage disk(s) slipping in and out of position.
In advanced stages, your cartilage disk(s) are permanently displaced. Ligaments stabilizing your jaw joint(s) are stretched then perforated. Traumatic osteoarthritis occurs as your jaw and skull surfaces, now in contact, wear against each another. Irreparable damage to your disk(s) and ligaments may result in permanent disability.
The symptoms of TMD include:
- Headaches or earaches
- Ringing in the ear
- Pain in the muscles of the head and neck
- Reduction in the velocity of opening the mouth
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Neck and shoulder pain
If you notice that you are experiencing any of the above symptoms:
Call us for a FREE no-obligation evaluation. Dr. Kuhta or Dr. McAnnally can help determine if you have a TMD, MPD, or CMD. They will present their diagnostic findings, discuss treatment options with you, and create a customized plan to help relieve your symptoms.
Until you are seen, there are many steps you can take that may alleviate or prevent discomfort.
- Relax your facial muscles - Keep your lips lightly together with your teeth slightly apart.
- Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth.
- Avoid gum chewing.
- Avoid hard foods.
- Avoid opening your mouth wide - Limit the range of your jaw movements.
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