TMJ vs. TMD: Whatever You Call It, Brandon TMJ Treatment is the Same

TMJ Treatment

Some dentists call it TMJ, others TMD. Either way, they’re related to problems with the jaw that affect around 35 million people in the U.S., according to the TMJ Association. Are these two terms really different from each other? If yes, is it important for patients and dentists to use the right term, namely in TMJ treatment in Brandon?

Searching Google with the keyword “TMJ” produces an interesting trend. Some medical info websites like use TMJ to refer to the jaw disorder, but others such as the National Institutes of Health and American Dental Association refer to TMJ as the joint that opens and closes your mouth.

Temporomandibular Joint

The TMJ is a ball-and-socket joint located between the mandible and temporal bone; hence, the term “temporomandibular.” This setup not only allows the lower jaw to move up and down but also in a circular motion. The TMJ is also one of a handful of joints to have articular discs, which are a series of collagen discs acting as the joint’s cushion.

Occasionally, you may feel your jaw snap or click. If you barely hear it, it’s normal because of the joint structure. Nevertheless, an audible snap or click of the jaw can signify problems, often the first symptom dentists look for. Whether or not it’s normal for you, experts suggest having it checked by a dentist as soon as possible.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder/Dysfunction

If you’re referring to the jaw problem, it’s called a TMD. It happens when the TMJ is having a hard time moving your jaw, which can trigger pain. Dentists still aren’t entirely sure what causes TMD, but known factors include arthritis, infections, and trauma. Genetics and hormones, albeit rare, are also widely considered.

Treatment usually ranges from orthotic appliances to restorative dentistry, but it’s usually the former. An orthotic appliance is placed in the mouth to help reorient the lower jaw and stop the TMJ from snapping or clicking. The treatment can also be accompanied with pain reduction therapies like electrical stimulation, phonophoresis, and trigger point injections.

Does it Matter?

The habit of interchanging the terms have gone for such a long time that the line dividing them has all but disappeared. Regardless, a dentist in Brandon, FL like David Busciglio already knows how to respond to a TMJ or TMD.


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