You may know someone who has had a hip or knee repair or replacement. Because hips and knees are joints that significantly affect mobility, it’s rather obvious that they can also impact proper function in movement elsewhere in the body.
The TMJ, or jaw joints, are also important to the proper function of other areas. Perhaps, more than you realize.
When the TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) is not moving correctly in its socket, common problems can arise, including:
• Painful or tender jaw joints
• Frequent headaches or migraines
• Ear aches or ear ringing
• Discomfort or difficulty when chewing
• Facial pain
• Difficulty when opening or closing the mouth
• Clicking sound or grating sensation when opening the mouth or while chewing
TMJ disorders can also cause pain in your jaw joint and muscles involved in the jaw’s movement, even when the jaw is not moving.
These joints are located in front of the ears and are structured to move with ease in a sliding motion. When functioning properly, the TMJ serves as a hinge that connects the jaw to the skull, ensuring a fluid motion when chewing, speaking, yawning or anytime the mouth opens.
For protection, the joints are covered with cartilage and cushioned by a shock-absorbing disk. This keeps the joints in working shape throughout your lifetime. When a TMJ disorder occurs, the joints can become worn, stressed or strained. Problems can emerge in a number of ways, as listed above.
A TMJ disorder can occur for a variety of reasons. While TMJ disorders most commonly occur in women between ages 20 – 40, they can arise for both genders and at any age. However, in many cases, the true cause of TMJ disorders is never determined.
For some, the disorder may be caused by arthritis or an injury to the jaw (even emerging from an injury that occurred many years prior). However, bite misalignment is typically the most common cause. People who have jaw joint disorders are also likely to clench or grind their teeth during sleep, which is a common symptom of bite misalignment.
Unfortunately, the general public does not always associate TMJ with problems such as dizziness, headaches or ear ringing. People often spend years seeing specialists to treat their problems, receiving some relief at times or temporary relief at others. Prescription medications are common ‘treatments,’ yet, they tend to merely mask the problems rather than resolve them.
We have taken a modern, comprehensive approach to the accurate diagnosis of TMJ disorders and in successful treatment. Our advanced equipment can pinpoint the precise point of dysfunction so we can provide effective solutions that do not over-treat or under-treat the problem.
If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder, call for a free Consultation. We’ll gladly explain the process and common treatments. You may also ask to speak with some of our patients who have had similar problems and are now symptom-free as a result of our care. Call 1-866-9-Smiles.