What is TMJ?

Free Yourself from Pain

Dental Advances :: TMJ Disorder

What is TMJ Disorder

TMJ Disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a catch all term used to describe dysfunction of the jaw muscles and joints. TMJ disorder affects people of all ages and impacts approximately 5% of the population.

The condition can result in the misalignment or displacement of the jaw which places stress on the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and connecting tissues of the TM joints.

When the condition is prolonged, your body may begin to compensate by adapting an unnatural position involving the muscles of the neck, back or even the arms and pelvis.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

It can present as:

  • Clicking or popping sensations with the movement of your jaw joints
  • Pain when the mouth is opened or limited range of opening
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Facial pain and a sense of facial muscle fatigue
  • Ear pain not caused by ear infection
  • Occasional locking when jaw opened
  • Frequent headaches and shoulder pain that affects posture and even mobility    Areas of Pain

Causes of TMJ Disorder

It may develop from the following:

  • Lost, crooked or uneven teeth
  • Overbite or other bite problems that affect the joint
  • Teeth that fit together poorly (malocclusion)
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Head or neck injuries including whiplash

Temporary Relief for TMJ Disorder

While the approaches list below do not treat the cause they can reduce the symptoms. Relief may be found by:

  • Hot and cold packs applied to the face or temple
  • Limited jaw movement or local pressure such as a phone
  • Do not select hard food or food that requires repetitive chewing
  • Physical therapy or massage
  • Medications

Your Next Step

If you suspect you may suffer from TMJ Disorder call our practice for an appointment. Before any TMJ treatment plan can be established there are two steps:

  • Initial Assessment including an autonomic nerve analysis, and
  • Full Clinical Examination including a biometric computer analysis, imaging and clinical survey 

This information gained is invaluable if the dentist hopes to plan and manage an optimal dental therapy that will work with your specific physiology.


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