TMD is a jaw problem that can cause extreme pain in the Temporomandibular joint. The pain can last for a few minutes up to hours. Sometimes the discomfort lingers and sometimes it’s an on again off again thing. TMD is many times caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, a bite problem caused by an injury, or malocclusion (the teeth do not fit together correctly). Some other causes are arthritis in the joint, movement of the soft cushions or stress, which can cause you to tighten your facial muscles.
The signs you may have TMD or jaw joint troubles are: migraines, a tightness of the face in the mornings, or pain when chewing gum. You may also experience an inability to open your mouth wide or hear a clicking or popping noise when chewing. Dr. Strutz suggests, "you can experience swelling on the inside of your face, dizziness, or an earache."
TMD can be very painful, but there are options available to help. It is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately in order to have it taken care of. The longer the problem progresses the more damage is done to the joint.