Does your child complain about pain in their face or around their ear? Do they tell you they hear a popping or clicking noise when they open or close their mouth? These symptoms of TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, can start off as an annoyance, but can continue to cause pain and irritation in the jaw joint as well as wear and tear on the teeth if ignored.
How Does TMD Arise In Children?
There are a few causes of stress on the jaw joint, such as:
- Extreme stress or anxiety in the child that causes them to tense and clench their jaws, grind their teeth or tighten their jaw muscles.
- Bruxism, a condition of jaw clenching or teeth grinding, can also lead to jaw misalignment.
- Trauma or injury to the jaw, face or chin where the force is focused on the jaw joint.
While TMD symptoms may go away on their own, if your child is in pain and the symptoms persist, they should not be ignored. It can lead to joint damage, wear on the teeth, and increased pain. Here are other symptoms you should look out for:
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Jaw pain and fatigue
- Earaches and ringing in the ear
- Unexplained headaches
- Jaw locking
- Uneven movements of the jaw
- Pain when the TMJ is touched
The good news is that relief is possible for children suffering from TMD symptoms. There are a range of treatments depending on the severity of your child’s particular case. While an over-the-counter pain medication or resting the jaw may provide immediate help, it’s important that the root cause of the pain is determined to resolve the problem for good.
At Dr. Brock Rondeau & Associates of London, Ontario, we offer a variety of treatment options for children and adults suffering from TMD. Please call our office to schedule a consultation.