TMJD (Temporomandibular joint disorder) is nothing to laugh about. Although a lot of people initially notice the problem when they have difficulty opening their mouth or even eating, TMJ disorders can have a lot of other complications that go along with the condition.
Due to the clenching or abnormal function of the TMJ, the muscles immediately around the joint can become strained. This creates fatigue in the muscles around the ear and throughout the head, giving symptoms of earaches as well as headaches.
Abnormal tooth wear
If the teeth are not biting together properly due to abnormal function of the TMJ, they will begin to wear down. Accelerated wear occurs due to an improper bite relationship, making teeth bite in a way that they were not designed to. This causes the enamel to wear down at an accelerated rate, and not only causes flat, worn teeth, it can also cause damage to existing dental restorations.
Muscle pain through the neck and shoulders
Just like the headaches, muscle fatigue can radiate through the neck and shoulders as well. Some of the muscles attached at the TMJ extend all the way down into the shoulders and top of the back. Tension creates chronic muscle pain throughout areas that aren’t immediately associated with the TMJ.
Damage to the internal disc and bone of the joint can occur if the TMJ is not functioning properly. Your dentist can take an x-ray or scan to determine if damage has already taken place.
Ask your dentist about non-invasive TMJ therapies. Bite splints are an example of a simple, therapeutic way to prevent strain of the jaw and muscles during stress or sleep. Preventing strain on the joint will also improve the side effects from TMJ disorders.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
Treating moderate to severe Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ / TMJD) can leave many people feeling like there aren’t a lot of options. At home treatments such as relaxation exercises, applying cold compresses, and avoiding hard-to-chew foods can only do so much. When the pain expands to the point where it causes muscle pain throughout the head and neck, people look to other options, only to find more invasive treatments such as surgery don’t have a very high success rate in the reversal of TMJD symptoms.
Thankfully, many TMJ disorder symptoms can be reversed by using neuromuscular therapy techniques. These treatments address the function of the joint. Some of these techniques involve using bite splints or orthodontic therapies to guide the jaw into the proper functioning position, with strain reduced, and pain alleviated. Bite splints may be worn at night for treating clenching and bruxism, or even during the day. Moderate to severe tooth misalignment can also create compromised functioning of the jaw, as it alters the natural function in order to accommodate biting and chewing of the teeth. Correcting the alignment of the jaws and teeth with orthodontics isn’t just for esthetics, it’s part of a comprehensive TMJ treatment plan and can even be effective for conditions like periodontal disease.
Neuromuscular therapy is regarded as an effective, non-invasive treatment for the alleviation of pain, symptoms, and causes of TMJ related disorders. To find out whether or not neuromuscular treatment is right for you, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with a neuromuscular dentist that provides treatment in that aspect of dentistry. Your consultation will include a clinical examination, x-rays, as well as an assessment of your current occlusal condition.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…
Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting. Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…
Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….