Cranio-mandibular dysfunction (CMD)

If you get pain when chewing, or if your jaw bone often makes cracking noises, you may have a condition known as cranio-mandibular dysfunction (CMD). The name is made up of the words cranio = skull and mandibula = lower jaw. An “incorrect bite” doesn’t always need treating – in fact, many people live perfectly well with one. However if pain occurs, you should arrange an examination. CMD often extends beyond the jaw region and can be felt as pain in the ears, head and/or face. Another symptom is teeth-grinding.

A diagnosis of CMD must be made very cautiously and include a thorough consultation exploring the background to the symptoms. This is because in many cases there is actually no malposition or inflammation, but rather the cause is psychological stress. Therefore, before any dental treatment commences, factors that may be of relevance such as anxiety or signs of stress should be considered. Then, a comprehensive functional and structural analysis can be helpful. Treatment may take the form of an occlusal splint, which realigns the jaw and therefore provides relief. Filing or filling of teeth may also be advised. If you think you have symptoms of CMD, contact us for a detailed examination and advice.