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Is temporomandibular disorder (TMD) serious?

TMD can be serious. For most people, the pain and other symptoms associated with TMD can be resolved by following a prescribed treatment plan. For others, TMD resolves on its own and without the need to visit a doctor. When the underlying cause is physical (like jaw derangement, which is when the jaw does not operate properly), strong pain killers, physical therapy, and even surgery may be called for.

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is not serious, but it can be painful. TMD stems from problems with your jaw joint and muscles in your face. It usually results from stress, teeth grinding, or an injury that places too much pressure on the joint. Over time, TMD can get in the way of your eating, speaking, or head movement.

Temporomandibular disorders can have many different signs and symptoms, from mild to severe. The severity of TMD depends on its cause. These include:

  • arthritis
  • dislocation
  • injury
  • tooth and jaw alignment
  • stress and teeth grinding

Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist can help to diagnose TMD early. Once it is diagnosed, your dentist can suggest the appropriate treatment based on the suspected cause.

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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.