TMD (temporomandibular disorder) is a joint disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint, located on each side of your head just below your ears. The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull and is used when chewing, swallowing, and speaking, making it a very important joint!

Temporomandibular disorder can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable. There are several different causes of TMD, such as jaw injury, stress, arthritis, or a misaligned bite. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, there’s a possibility you have TMD.

1. Pain
One of the most common symptoms of TMD is pain, tenderness, or soreness around the ear, temples, and jaw. You may experience more pain when chewing, talking, or yawning. Often, the pain is more severe in the morning or late afternoon. Other reasons for pain in that area include sinus issues, toothache, or earache. Either way, any pain around your jaw, ears, and face should be examined by a dentist or doctor.

2. Headache
Aches around the head, face, and neck are another common symptom of TMD. Though there are many reasons people suffer from headaches, you should take notice if it’s unusual for you to get headaches, or if the headaches are accompanied by any of these other symptoms.

3. Clicking and Popping
Many TMD sufferers experience a clicking sound or popping feeling in their jaw when opening and closing their mouth. Sometimes a clicking jaw can just be temporary, but if it persists it may be a sign you have TMD.

4. Sensitive Teeth
Unusually sensitive teeth can also be a symptom of TMD. Your teeth may feel tender or painful or may be sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks. If you experience any unexpected tooth sensitivity, see your dentist right away.

5. Difficulty Opening Mouth
If you have TMD, your jaw may feel locked and tight, and it may be difficult for you to open and close your mouth. This can really affect essential daily activities such as eating and speaking, and should be examined by a dentist immediately.

If you are experiencing any of the above systems, call your dentist’s office to book an appointment. TMD itself is often easily treatable, and your dentist will be able to recommend the best course of action. The first step to treating the pain and discomfort of TMD is diagnosing it, so be sure to keep track of your symptoms so that your dentist can make the best possible diagnosis.