TMJ stands for tempro-mandibular joint. This is a complicated myriad of muscle, dental, and jaw joint dysfunction resulting in pain and/or structural failure. Treatment involves three components, primarily: TMJ breakdown minimization, muscle therapy, and restoration of structurally damaged teeth.
The TMJ joint, is the joint that connects the upper and lower jaw and is responsible for the opening and closing of your mouth. TMJ disorder, is a complicated disorder, often characterized by pain and limited mobility in the jaw and surrounding tissue such as the muscles in the face, and neck.
There is no single cause for TMJ. Any number of factors or combination of factors can cause TMJ disorders, including:
- Trauma to the head, neck, or face.
- Trauma to the TMJ joint or arthritis.
- Hormonal changes or imbalances.
- Malocclusion (the jaws don’t line up correctly causing bite problems).
Symptoms of TMJ disorder vary. TMJ symptoms often disguise themselves as other medical conditions, making it difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- Shoulder, neck, facial pain.
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing the jaw.
- Locked jaw or limited mobility of the jaw joint.
- Teeth clenching or grinding.
- Chronic earaches.
Treatment: Improper bite alignment and TMJ problems can cause pain as well as deterioration of teeth and support structures. At Ellis General Dentistry, we evaluate smiles for these issues as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, our knowledge of TMJ related issues allows us to provide contemporary therapies to treat discomfort and restore maximum functionality.
No two patients are alike, and there is no single treatment for TMJ disorder that works for all patients. Our doctors will prescribe the proper course of action, sometimes involving the combination of multiple TMJ treatments depending on your needs and condition.