Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial & neck pain as well as recurrent headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
The fact is TMD has become quite common. Your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints, connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get quite a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn.
Stress often presents itself as chronic myofacial fatigue & jaw pain. This stress can cause the temporomandibular joint and supporting ligaments to be placed under continued great stress and fatigue.
Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement. TMD can also result in headaches, tooth wear, clicking and other unpleasant symptoms.
Should you notice any of these symptoms, let us know! We can help advise you as to whether they indicate the presence of TMD, and what sort of treatment is appropriate for you.
Our approach to TMD is primarily non-pharmacological. We start with a thorough screening process. Identify the severity of the symptoms, and begin treatment with the least invasive techniques.
We treat TMD if diagnosed with the least invasive technique possible. Each patient is unique and requires a tailored treatment. Examples of our more common treatment options follow:
In some rare cases, the jaw pain is multifactorial and will require specialized treatment outside the scope of Doctor Whitfield's practice. Dr. Whitfield partners with several practitioners in Seattle that utilize additional modalities such as medications to modify the pain response.
Additionally, sometimes TMD is part of a larger health issue that requires a multidisciplinary approach that must include your medical doctor.
There are some simple things you can do at home or work to help prevent TMD from occurring in your jaw joints.