Approximately a quarter of American adults suffer from chronic facial pain, jaw pain, headaches, and/or earaches. The cause of these aches and pains is typically related to the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) – the joint that attaches your lower jaw to your skull – and the muscles surrounding it. Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) refers to a number of conditions that can affect the TMJ and the surrounding muscles and nerves.
Symptoms of TMD include
- pain in or around the ear
- headaches and neck aches
- tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
- jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
- jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
- difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
- sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found
The first step in treatment is correct diagnosis. Dr. Darcy Neveu has extensive training in TM disorders, having trained with the Craniofacial Pain Center at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Treatment, often times, starts with a customized mouthguard; however, additional treatment including, but not limited to: medication, trigger point therapy, physical therapy, and stress management may be necessary in managing your symptoms.