Difference Between TMJ and TMD Questions and Answers

If you’re having jaw joint pain, then you’re probably wondering what the issue could be. We’d like to shed some light on this for you, and we’re certainly capable of treating you here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Read on for details about TMJ and TMD! Please call us for more information or book an appointment online. We have 10 clinic locations. We Serve Patients From All Over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, Wausau WI.

Difference Between TMJ and TMD | Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders
Difference Between TMJ and TMD | Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders

What does TMJ and TMD pain feel like?

TMJ pain may be felt all over the jaw joint, right in front of the ear specifically, or radiating in the face. The pain might be constant or coming and going and may be accompanied by headaches that throb or pierce, a clicking or popping of the jaw when you eat or talk, sharp and stabbing ear pain, dull aches, spasms in the jaw or face, pain behind the eyes or in the ears, difficulty swallowing, ringing in the ears, ear congestion, or related issues.

What is TMJ? What is TMD?

The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, the main jaw joint. Some people refer to a disorder of the jaw joint as a “TMJ”, but “TMD” is more accurate, as it stands for temporomandibular disorder. This disorder is the name given to different problems with TMJ movement and pain.

TMD or any problem with the TMJ can make eating, speaking, and even sleeping difficult and painful, and if left untreated, it can lead to significant and even chronic complications. It’s best to see a professional about any issue with the TMJ.

What should I do about TMD?

You definitely should do something about TMD or a TMJ problem, especially if you’ve been experiencing issues for a while now. TMD might never go away unless it’s professionally treated. Also, the disorder, its cause, and the symptoms could worsen a lot and lead to joint inflammation, joint damage, the wearing down of your teeth, or even an airway sleep disorder like sleep apnea. In turn, sleep apnea can eventually lead to heart disease or another life-threatening condition.

Those issues can be prevented, your symptoms can be relieved, and the cause of your case of the disorder can be addressed by a professional. Your case may be caused by something like arthritis in the jaw, a prior injury, or teeth grinding, and a professional can help to correct or manage such an issue to prevent further complications.

Sometimes, simple jaw stretches and exercises are enough to relieve a TMJ problem, while other times, dental sleep medicine with oral appliance therapy is the best option. In fact, the therapy can help prevent the conditions that cause TMD in the first place! Oral appliance therapy is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and we provide it here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. Adults and children alike can benefit a lot from oral appliance therapy.

Do you treat TMJ problems and TMD near me?

We likely do! Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has clinic locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. We ask that you refer to our Locations page for the location nearest you, its address, and its contact information, then connect with us at that location. We’ll be able to answer any other questions you have for us over the phone or book you in for a consultation with one of our TMJ and TMD doctors. You could also call our head office at (855) 977-0400, if you like.

We’re very confident we can help you here at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, and if you are too, then reach out to us today!