TMJ-TMD | TMJ Treatment | Elara Orthodontics

TMJ-TMD

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An Overview of TMJ-TMD

Over the past few years, the healthcare field has been the focus of vigorous debate on a variety of topics. One of the topics has been the role of braces and the possible way that they cause TMJ-TMD. It is important for patients to have this concern addressed before deciding to invest in braces.

What is TMJ-TMD?

TMJ is the abbreviation that is given when referring to the Temporomandibular Joint. This is a joint that connects the lower jaw, called to mandible, to the upper jaw and skull. This joint is the piece that fires when patients move their jaw while talking, speaking, or swallowing. The jaw moves back and forth in addition to opening and closing the mouth. The joint is used constantly as people go about their daily life. Some patients use their TMJ when they grind their teeth at night or out of nervousness, a condition called bruxism.

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Are TMJ and TMD the Same?

Many people use the acronyms TMJ and TMD interchangeably; however, they are slightly different things. TMJ is the abbreviation used to refer to the joint itself while TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorder, a specific problem with the TMJ. There are several different problems that could arise during TMD, including clicking of the jaw, lockjaw, or popping sounds that patients sometimes hear when they open and close their mouth. Like many problems in medicine, these problems can range wildly in severity. Some patients have severe symptoms while other patients do not have symptoms at all. This is why patients need to see a professional for more information.

Do Braces Play a Role in TMD?

Many patients have come in concerned that using or wearing braces can somehow contribute to the development of TMD. In fact, there have been many studies that have looked at the relationship closely and they have found no significant relationship between the use of braces and the development of TMD. There are many other factors that can contribute to the development of TMD including patient behaviors, emotional state, bite type, and several other physical factors. Braces do not play a role in the development of TMD, despite the many concerns surrounding the issue.

The Development of TMD is a Complex Issue

The one thing that is certain is that the development of TMD itself is a complex process with a variety of factors in play. Sometimes, it may be unclear why some patients develop TMD and others do not; however, this is why patients need to speak with a trained oral health professional to have their concerns addressed. Patients should reach out to an oral health provider today to learn more about TMJ-TMD. It is vital for patients to have all of their concerns addressed before moving forward with an orthodontic treatment option.

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