Treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a syndrome that requires identification of the causes of the pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding areas. We check a myriad of factors including muscle trismus, arthritis, stress, trauma, mis-alignment of teeth, and sleep disorders to name a few.
TMJ Dysfunction and Myofascial Pain are closely related disorders that affect approximately 35% of patients over the age of 30.
When TMJ Dysfunction and Myofascial Pain are undiagnosed and untreated, significant and permanent changes may be done to the teeth, supporting bone, and the highly complex temporomandibular joint. Both myofascial pain (muscle pain, spasms, and headache) and TMJ Dysfunction (popping and clicking of the jaw, limited movement, and arthritic changes) are closely related to how teeth fit. Common areas of pain are around the aforementioned joint, yet it could also radiate to the back of the head, shoulders, neck, and even behind the eyes. When teeth don’t line up properly, habits may develop because of the misalignment. When misaligned, whether from injury or bite issues, the resultant clenching results in hyperactive muscles of mastication. Research has shown that poor quality of sleep and sleep apnea frequently results in similar muscle activity.
THE TMJ IS WHERE THE LOWER JAW MEETS THE SKULL
PAIN AND CRAMPING MAY DEVELOP TO THE SURROUNDING MUSCULATURE WHEN CLENCHING OCCURS.
Treatment consists of careful evaluation of the underlying etiology. In many cases, treatment will require resting and supporting of the inflamed muscles and stretched ligaments. In order to accomplish a rested jaw, it frequently requires wearing a custom-fabricated orthotic or inter-occlusal splint, allowing your jaw to center in anatomical harmony. It is essential that an orthotic be accurately aligned. Unfortunately, many over-the-counter or incorrectly aligned appliances may further exacerbate the pain and dysfunction making treatment less successful and more difficult. In certain situations, we may further recommend injections or trigger point release therapies.
If you have concerns about Myofascial or TMJ pain, a changed bite, or chipped and broken teeth let us know, so we can evaluate your symptoms. We have considerable experience with the successful treatment of problems like yours.
SOME COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TMJ DYSFUNCTION MAY INCLUDE:
- Pain in Your Jaw Joint
- Muscle Pain Surrounding Jaw
- Trouble Opening or Closing Jaw
- Muscle Pain Around the Neck
- Muscle Pain on the Shoulders
- TMJ Popping or Clicking Noises in the Joint
- Anxiety and Depression
- Stressful Lifestyle
- Ringing in the Ears
- Teeth Grinding or Clenching
- Sudden Changes in the Bite
- Pain Behind Eyes
- Chipped, worn, or broken teeth
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