A pain in the jaw? It could be TMJ
When you hear people say they suffer from a ‘TMJ problem’ they are referring to their temporomandibular joint(TMJ). Problems with this joint are commonly referred to as a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. The TMJ links the lower jaw, the mandible, to the temporal bone which is the bone at each side of the head. The joints are flexible, so that the jaw can move up and down and side to side, which allows you to talk, yawn and chew. Muscles which are attached to the jaw joint and surround it control its movement and position.
The pain suffered with a TMD is sometimes caused by the misalignment of the bite. The TMJ is then subject to friction which causes pain. Some of the symptoms can be alleviated by not opening the jaw too wide and avoiding food that requires a lot of chewing such as chewing gum. Other causes are an injury, arthritis and previous face surgery.
The symptoms of TMJ can be painfully obvious
These can include:
- A popping noise when chewing
- A swollen or tender jaw
- Occasional locked jaw
- Pain behind your eyes
- A tingling or numbness from arms to the fingers
- A stiff neck and sore shoulders
If you are suffering from TMJ pain you should ensure you have a health assessment to make sure that there is nothing else causing your pain. If there is no other medical condition present you should arrange a consultation with us. We have dental solutions that could help to alleviate your pain.
Pain free dentistry can resolve your TMJ pain
We use neuromuscular dentistry to correct a stressed or strained temporomandibular joint to realign your bite. Specialized equipment will measure your jaw movements and muscle strain to determine the best alignment for the jaw. This is pain free and ensures your jaw gets the correct treatment.
The types of tests used include:
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Jaw Tracking
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
Once the best alignment for your bite is found, we will fit a customised dental splint or bite guard. This is a dental appliance which is placed in the mouth which keeps the teeth correctly aligned and prevents you from grinding.
Don’t let TMJ ruin your life
Your temporomandibular joint is essential, but it need not cause you any pain. If this is what you are experiencing it may be time to have the problem properly assessed. We can provide you with a thorough evaluation and suggest a treatment that can help make your TMJ disorder a thing of the past.