TMJ

 

TMJ_imageWhat is TMJ?

TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint.  TMJ is a small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. It permits the lower jaw (mandible) to move and function.  The temporomandibular joint is stabilized by muscles that make it possible to open and close the mouth. The pain, discomfort or tenderness in or around these joints are referred to as TMJ disorders.

What Are TMJ Disorders?

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) refers to a variety of conditions that affect TM joints, jaw muscles and facial nerves. TMD may occur when the jaw twists during opening, closing or side-motion movements. People with TMD may experience these symptoms:

  • pain in or around the ear
  • headaches and neck aches
  • tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
  • jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
  • jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
  • difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found

TMD affects more than twice as many women (particularly those of childbearing age) as men and is the most common non-dental related chronic facial pain.

tmj_painWhat Causes TMJ?

In most cases, TMJ disorders stem from a condition called malocclusion, which means having a “bad bite” or accidents and trauma. Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way. This includes underbites and overbites.

When the teeth are misaligned, they cannot provide the support the muscles in the face need for chewing and swallowing. These muscles are then forced into a strained position, resulting in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back. Although a person may have beautiful teeth or had orthodontics to line the teeth up for aesthetic reasons, the muscles and joints may not be comfortable.

What can I do to treat TMD?

Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. However, because the exact causes and symptoms of TMD are not clear, diagnosing these disorders can be confusing.   If you have frequent and severe head or neck pain you owe it to yourself to investigate our doctors life-changing approach to correcting these TMJ problems.

Please contact us to schedule a consultation to help you decide which therapy is right for you