You are suffering headache, tinnitus, or tensions in your neck? You have movement restrictions in your jaw? The diagnosis of these complaints might be a Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD/TMJ).
TMD is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint that can be caused by many different factors. The symptoms can be painful and reduce one’s life quality drastically.
Even though about 10% of people suffer from TMD symptoms, the disorder is barely perceived by the public.
Therefore, TMD is often diagnosed too late by a dentist and the tests can be expensive. However, there are some tests everyone can do at home to check yourself if TMD might be the root of the suffering.
What causes TMD?
The causes of TMD can be manifold and some factors may reinforce each other. Here are the most common causes for a TMD diagnosis:
· Misalignment of teeth
· Emotional stress and anxiety
· Disease like rheumatism, osteoarthritis, and arthritis
· Grinding of the teeth
· Trauma of former injuries or failed dental treatment
Everyone can be affected by TMD. However, mostly people at the age of 40 are diagnosed with TMD. The causes are often stressful life circumstances.
It is important to diagnose TMD early. As longer the disorder exists, as more difficult it becomes to treat TMD properly.
How to diagnose TMD
A valid diagnosis of TMD requires a professional test, executed by a dentist. However, there are simple exercises that allow you to assess yourself if you might be affected by TMD.
Here are some hints, that might point to a TMD diagnosis:
· Your mouth is opening crooked
· The opening is smaller than 38 mm
· You listen cracking noises when moving your jaw
· The teeth do not fit perfectly on one another
· You sense pressure on your jaw and temple muscles
· Your teeth are grinded above average
Of course, these tests do not provide a valid diagnosis of TMD. Visiting a dentist is necessary to receive the right diagnoses with an appropriate treatment.