Temporomandibular Disorders Cause Head and Facial Pain
Udo Schütte, DDS
Assistant Professor, New York University School of Dentistry
Clinical Practice, Prosthodontic Associates, PLLC
New York, NY
Chronic head and facial pain around the ears and temples or in the teeth, neck, and other parts of the head is often caused by a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). These pain conditions are often blamed on TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction. However, Dr. Schütte explains that the pain is usually caused by excess pressure on the jaw’s chewing muscles and surrounding structures, rather than on the joint itself. The muscles may become overworked by a person’s habitual teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Anxiety, stress, and depression often play a role in these habits. Diagnosed by a dentist or physician, TMDs can be treated with the use of a bite guard that eases pressure on the jaw muscles, or with pain medication, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.
Country: United States
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