Dentistry by Design

Dr. Gilsdorf Explains TMD Syndrome


Manhattan, KS -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/09/2016 -- The temporomandibular joints are hinges that connect the jaw to the skull, which are located in front of each ear. They allow movement of the jaw up and down and side to side, allowing an individual to talk, chew, and yawn. It can also be a source of pain that may take a while to resolve.

Pain in the jaw and the muscles in a person's face is known as Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). "Sometimes it is hard to know what causes TMD. I believe problems with the muscles of the jaw or parts of the joint itself cause the symptoms. Usually TMD is explained by grinding or clenching of the patient's teeth, stress or arthritis in the joint itself. An injury like a substantial blow to the head or even whiplash can easily cause TMD," comments Dr. Bret Gilsdorf.

The most common symptoms of TMD are pain and discomfort. Other symptoms can include tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders and pain in the ear when a person chews or opens their mouth widely. Dr. Gilsdorf states, "Unfortunately this syndrome can also bring on painful headaches, even migraines, dizziness and earaches. Less painful symptoms can include simply a clicking, popping or grating sound in the jaw that might not be painful, but just annoying. These symptoms can be short-lived or last for years."

One reason TMD can be difficult to diagnose is that other conditions cause comparable symptoms. Tooth decay, sinus infections, arthritis and gum disease can cause the same problems, but are treated differently than TMD. To determine what is causing the patient's symptoms, Dr. Gilsdorf will do a physical exam and take a health history report.

About Dr. Gilsdorf
He will check jaw joints for pain or tenderness and listen for clicks, pops, or grating sounds during movement of the jaw. Dr. Gilsdorf will also make sure the jaw works like it should and doesn't lock when opening or closing the mouth. Plus, he will test the patient's bite and check for problems with facial muscles. Treatment usually involves zero pills, no shots, no surgery, and no unwanted side effects.

Remaining committed to his education, Dr. Gilsdorf continually completes about 150 hours of continuing education courses each year.

To make an appointment with Dr. Gilsdorf call, 785-370-0940.