TMJ (temporomandibular joint) DISORDER
Do You Have?
- Frequent Headaches or Migraines
- Painful Jaw Joints
- Painful in the Face, Neck and Shoulders
- Face or Neck Pain
- Uncomfortable, Uneven or Painful Bite and Inability to Chew
- Chipped, Worn or Broken Teeth
- Grinding or Clenching
- Clicking or Popping Jaw
- Ringing Ears or Vertigo (dizziness)
- Difficulty Opening and Closing the Mouth
- Tingling Hands
These problems are all in your head – Literally!
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) describes a variety of conditions that affect jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Symptoms may occur on one or both sides of the face, head or jaw, or develop after an injury. TMD affects more than twice as many women than men.
What is the temporomandibular joint? (TMJ)
The temporomandibular joint is a joint that slides and rotates just in front of your ear, consisting of the temporal bone (side of the skull) and the mandible (lower jaw). Chewing muscles connect the lower jaw to the skull, allowing you to move your jaw forward, sideways and open and close. The joint works properly when the lower jaw and its joint (both the right and left) are synchronized during movement.
TMD may occur when the jaw twists during opening, closing, or side-motion movements. These movements affect the jaw joint and the muscles that control chewing.
What causes TMD?
Problems involving the TMJ are often attributed to a misaligned bite. When upper teeth do not meet properly to lower teeth, the strain on joints and muscles of the jaw, face, head and neck can ultimately lead to headaches, jaw pain, and even migraines. Additionally, trauma or certain tasks, either mental or physical, may cause or aggravate TMD, such as stressful situations. Most discomfort is caused from overuse of the muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism). These excessive habits tire the jaw muscles and lead to discomfort, such as headaches or neck pain.
Findings published by the Academy of General Dentistry reveal about 75% of all headaches are caused by muscle tension, many of which are bite related. For this reason, Dr. Barbat has devoted many hours in continuing education in diagnosis and treatment for true sufferers of problems associated with the TMJ and bite misalignment.
A part of this commitment is through state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technology. If the TMJ is the source of the problem, she assesses the severity of the problem and what it has affected in order to create an appropriate treatment plan.
Relax Through Diagnosis Through NuCalm
Chronic pain disorders can often lead to high chronic stress. TMJ disorders can result from how we adapt to this stress. In our Shelby Township dental office, we find that NuCalm helps patients disconnect from this stress response during diagnostic procedures and treatment.
Nucalm is an alternative to other medications used for stress and anxiety, offers a healthy method of turning off excessive sympathetic stimulation associated with stress. It works by turning off the body’s fight or flight response, which is triggered when we sense fear, stress or anxiety.
By suppressing these impulses, Nucalm eases stress or anxiety. It provides total relaxation without side effects or recovery time needed.
How is TMD treated?
While improper bite alignment and TMJ disorders tend to go hand in hand, slight adjustments often create major improvements. Most patients are relieved when they learn that their problem can be resolved without surgery or a complex process. After diagnosis, treatment often begins with a TENS unit. This sends an ultra-low electrical frequency to stimulate muscles through nerve pathways, which induces involuntary contraction of facial muscles. This causes the muscles to relax so the optimal resting point can be determined.
Very often, conservative treatment is sufficient for relieving stress on these joints. This may be in the form of a mouth piece, which is custom-fitted for optimal comfort and does not interfere with sleep. Other adjustments may involve realignment of the bite with minor reshaping of specific teeth. In some cases, bite adjustments require restructuring through crowns. Click Here For More Detailed Information
Many Americans spend years seeking relief from painful headaches and migraines without success. The solution may exist in being effectively and thoroughly treated by a dentist who has advanced training in these techniques. Begin by arranging a consultation appointment to discuss your situation and the potential for resolving your problems – for good!