TMJ and TMD are terms often incorrectly used interchangeably to describe a joint disorder of the jaw. However, it may be important for you to delineate the difference and learn more about these terms, warning signs of disorders, and how to seek treatment if necessary. If you or a loved one is in need of a TMJ/TMD dentist in Marietta, GA, consider reaching out to Dr. Casey Hart.
What Do TMJ and TMD Mean?
Both TMJ and TMD are abbreviations, meaning temporomandibular joint and temporomandibular joint disorder, respectively. However, they are not the same thing, as TMJ refers to the joint itself whereas TMD refers to the various disorders that can affect how the TMJ functions.
The TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, allowing you to open your mouth to talk and chew. Because of the delicacy and importance of this joint, when it becomes damaged or inflamed the pain can affect your ability to easily chew or speak effectively. If this happens, it is important to seek medical attention from a TMJ/TMD dentist in Marietta, GA.
Warning Signs of TMD
TMD is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of disorders that can affect the TMJ. Damage to the TMJ can occur as a result of injury, overuse from excessive gum chewing or teeth grinding, infection, inflammation, or deterioration such as from arthritis. TMD can be characterized by pain in the jaw and face, locking of the jaw when opening your mouth, swelling and tenderness of the jaw, muscle spasms, and difficulty chewing or eating.
Getting Treatment Today
If you or a loved one is experiencing jaw pain or any other sign of TMD, please contact Dr. Casey Hart, your TMJ/TMD dentist in Marietta, GA. For questions or to make an appointment today, please call (770) 926-8371.