TMJ stands for the phrase temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMJ / TMD refer to a set of difficulties characterized by problems in the jaw joints and muscles. Symptomatic problems arise when the jaw is not resting at its optimal position and cannot close in its correct muscle trajectory. These disorders have a variety of causes, including teeth grinding/bruxism, allergies that affect the airway and bite development, excessive jaw tension, stress, arthritis, injury and genetics. Many people with TMD also experience other conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, GERD, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Neuromuscular dentists study the jaw system and use high-tech equipment to diagnose TMJ / TMD dysfunctions. Misalignment of the chewing muscles and neck muscles can cause a great deal of discomfort and lead to obstruction of daily activities. A malocclusion, or bad bite, and teeth misalignment cannot provide the support the muscles in the face need for chewing and swallowing. These muscles are forced into a strained position resulting in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders and back. Over 10 million Americans experience TMJ/TMD disorders, but thankfully advances in the field of Neuromuscular Dentistry have made treatment more effective.
The most common symptoms of TMJ/TMD are:
- Lock jaw
- Clicking or popping jaw joint
- Jaw joint pain
- Migraines and headaches
- Neck, shoulder, back and face pain
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Pain or sensitivity of the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Worn, chipped or cracked teeth/fillings
- Ringing in the ears
- Pressure of congestion in the ears
- Numbness in the arms, hands or fingers
- Limited ability to open the mouth
- Insomnia/Sleep Apnea
If you have ever experienced these recurring symptoms, you should contact us as soon as possible. Utilizing our advanced neuromuscular dentistry experience and diagnostic equipment, we can determine if TMJ is the source of your problems, and begin treating your condition immediately.
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