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How common is temporomandibular disorder (TMD)?

If you have frequent headaches, earaches, tender jaw muscles, dull, aching facial pain or feel like your jaw locks or strays to one side when you open your mouth, you could be suffering from TMD. These aches and pains may be related to jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ, and the muscles that work to move the joint. These painful conditions are called TMD for temporomandibular disorders.

TMD can have many different signs and symptoms that range in severity. Some patients may experience symptoms without any apparent loss of function. To determine how best to treat your condition, a thorough evaluation is recommended. Your dentist may check the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Your complete medical history may be reviewed, so it's important to keep your dental records up-to-date. Your dentist may take x-rays and may make a model of your teeth to see how your bite fits together. Your dentist may also request specialized x-rays for the TM joints.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), a problem of the jaw joints and facial muscles, is a common condition, usually affecting people between the ages of 20 and 40. TMD is often a physical reaction to stress and anxiety, and occurs more often in women than in men. TMD can affect the ability to move your head, chew, and swallow, and can be painful and persistent.

Temporomandibular disorders are quite common. It is estimated that more than 10 million people suffer from TMD. In fact, as many as 70 percent of people exhibit some sign of TMD during a dental visit; however, of that group, only 25 percent express having the symptoms that accompany TMD. Even fewer, only five percent, find it necessary to seek medical treatment for those symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.