TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDER
What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint is what connects the lower jaw with the skull. Muscles help the jaw to move down, up, around and sideways. TMD/TMJ is a disorder that results from the jaw moving out of alignment. This usually causes the jaw joints not to work smoothly. When there is misalignment or damage in the TMJ, you may experience several symptoms:
- Ringing in your ears
- Migraine-like TMJ/TMD headaches
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Trauma to the jaw joints or muscles in the head or neck
- Noises from your jaw joints, such as popping or clicking
- Popping or clicking noise from the jaw joints
What Causes TMJ Syndrome?
In most cases, TMJ is caused by a combination of factors like jaw injuries, genetics or preexisting conditions such as periodontal disease, diabetes and arthritis. The most common causes include:
- Jaw muscle fatigue – this is usually caused by abnormal grinding, function or clenching
- Disk or cartilage erosion in the jaw joints
- Stress and anxiety disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflammatory musculoskeletal disorder
- Misaligned jaw, which leads to overbite, cross-bite or under-bite
- Trauma to the jaw joints or neck or head muscles
- Nighttime jaw movements which are related to sleep apnea
What Are The Symptoms Of TMD?
- Jaw problems – clicking, popping or grinding sounds. Stiffness, lock jaw
- Face problems – tiredness, pain, swelling
- Ear problems – ringing, pain, difficulty hearing, fullness
- Head problems – migraine-like TMJ headaches, dizziness
- Body problems – pain in the shoulders or neck
The symptoms range from mild to severe. At times you may experience some of these symptoms without having TMJ/TMD. Talking to a medical specialist will help understand the cause of the problem. A dentist that has trained beyond dental school will provide a thorough assessment.
Symptoms of TMD
DISCUSS YOUR DENTISTRY OPTIONS
Treatment Options for TMD/TMJ
The objective of TMD/TMJ treatment is keeping the jaw aligned and eliminating pain from the muscles. As a result, the symptom you are presenting will provoke the best treatment approach. Several tests will be done to rule out other issues causing the symptoms. Once the root cause is determined, our dentist will treat TMD by identifying the optimal jaw position and then devise a treatment plan that will keep your jaw aligned.
To achieve perfect jaw alignment, the dentist may fabricate a custom oral appliance to test and confirm which posture of the jaw will solve the issue. To achieve permanent results, some cases require the shape of your teeth to be changed. Teeth alignment, dental implants or dental bridges may all be used. In most cases, surgery has proven to be ineffective in treating TMD.
Do you have additional questions about TMJ disorder? Schedule a TMD/TMJ evaluation with our dentists in Barrie. Our team uses digital X-rays, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit and K7 Evaluation System to identify jaw misalignment and determine the best treatment. Call us today to find out more.
We are a Family Friendly Practice
At Molson Park Dental Office, we provide family dentistry services. Toronto and Barrie dentist, Dr. Adam Chapnick works with every child to build trust and comfort through the entire dental visit process.