Free Yourself from Pain

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder) is a catch-all term used to describe dysfunction of the jaw muscles and joints. TMJ disorder affects people of all ages and impacts approximately 5% of the population.

The condition can result in the misalignment or displacement of the jaw, which places stress on the nerves, blood vessels, muscles and connecting tissues of the TM joints.

When the condition is prolonged, your body may begin to compensate by adapting an unnatural position involving the muscles of the neck, back or even the arms and pelvis.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder can present as:

  • clicking or popping sensations with the movement of your jaw joints
  • pain when the mouth is opened or limited range of opening
  • clenching or grinding teeth
  • facial pain and a sense of facial muscle fatigue
  • ear pain not caused by ear infection
  • occasional locking when jaw opened
  • frequent headaches and shoulder pain that affects posture and even mobility
  • whooshing noise in the ears.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder may develop from the following:

  • lost, crooked or uneven teeth
  • overbite or other bite problems that affect the joint
  • teeth that fit together poorly (malocclusion)
  • degenerative arthritis
  • head or neck injuries including whiplash.

Temporary Relief for TMJ Disorder

Relief may be found by:

  • hot and cold packs applied to the face or temple
  • limited jaw movement or local pressure such as a phone
  • do not select hard food or food that requires repetitive chewing
  • physiotherapy or massage
  • medications such as muscle relaxants
  • splint therapy designed by the dentist can eliminate the symptoms if the damage caused to the TMJ is not too severe.

Your Next Step

If you suspect you may suffer from TMJ disorder call our practice for an appointment. Before any TMJ treatment plan can be established there are two steps:

  • Initial Assessment
  • Full Clinical Examination  

This information gained is invaluable if the dentist hopes to plan and manage an optimal dental therapy that will work with your specific physiology.