The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the jaw joint where the mandible (lower jaw) attaches into the temporal bone of the skull. An articular disc separates the two bones and muscles and ligaments are attached in and around the area.
The TMJ acts as a hinge between your jaw and your temporal bone. This hinge allows you to chew, talk and yawn and problems with this joint are referred to as tempromandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
There are a number of causes of TMD, including:
- Trauma, or a heavy blow to the jaw such as whiplash or a hit to the head
- Bruxism, the pressure caused by the grinding can cause TMD
- Arthritis in the TMJ
- Disruption of the articular disc
- Stress leading to excessive clenching of the teeth.
Our TMJ Dysfunction Pain Treatment & Procedures
Signs of tempromandibular joint dysfunction include pain in the joint or the surrounding muscles, headaches, toothache, earache, limited opening of the jaw, locking and clicking of the jaw when it opens and shuts and swelling on one side of the face. TMD can even cause upper shoulder pain and tinnitus.
Because other issues, such as tooth decay, can cause similar symptoms. We will conduct extensive tests of your jaw to ensure it doesn’t lock and to see that your bite is correct. We may even conduct x-rays, depending on the results of our tests you may be referred to a surgeon.
If we feel the TMD is caused by a problem with your bite or as a result of bruxism, we will set up an appointment for you to have a splint or braces fitted to correct your bite and prevent you from grinding you teeth.
Why Treat TMD?
The TMJ is one of the most important joints in our body; in fact, if you consider the fact that it allows us to eat and communicate you could quite easily make the argument that it is the most important joint in the body. Failure to treat TMD in its early stages could create enormous problems and you may even reach the stage where major surgery is your only option for treatment.
The earlier you make an appointment with us, the greater the chance that we will be able to fix the problem in house in just a couple of visits. Early identification and treatment will save you lots of money and save you from the excruciating pain that advanced TMD can cause. It’s also important to remember that TMD can be caused by underlying dental issues that are very serious in their own right, so by making an appointment you can improve the overall health of your mouth as well as your TMJ.
So, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms or signs of TMD that are listed above come and see dhealth Dentistry today, get your TMJ back to full health and enjoy the benefits of a fully functioning, healthy mouth.
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