Temporomandibular disorders, or TMD, is a collective term that refers to disorders involving your bite, jaw joint, and the muscles that are responsible for chewing and moving your jaw. TMD is often referred to as TMJ, and it is estimated to affect millions of Americans. If you wear dentures, you might be especially familiar with TMD and its related symptoms. Read on to learn more about the connection between dentures and TMD, and how you can find relief.
Symptoms of TMD
TMD can present in a wide variety of symptoms. Common symptoms include headaches; toothaches; pain in the face, neck, jaw, shoulders, and ears; and difficulty opening your mouth widely or chewing. You might also experience ringing in your ears, a clicking or popping noise in your jaw joint, or your jaw feeling like it is “locked” open or closed.
How is TMD Related to Denture Wearing?
TMD is potentially caused by an uneven or unaligned bite. Wearing dentures alone is not necessarily going to cause TMD. However, if your dentures do not fit properly or have become loose from your jaw naturally changing shape over time, your bite is affected, and you could be at risk for developing TMD. People who wear a complete set of dentures could also be at risk of a displaced jaw disc, which can contribute to TMD.
Can Dentures Ever Help TMD?
The good news is that there are ways to treat TMD in denture wearers. Getting your dentures adjusted or refitted may be enough to ease your TMD symptoms, so make sure you call our office whenever your dentures begin to feel loose or uncomfortable. If a denture adjustment does not relieve your discomfort, you might be a good candidate for neuromuscular dentures. These are specialized dentures that are designed to align your jaw and allow for ideal function of your muscles and joints. If you have dentures and experience TMD symptoms, call our office today to get help.