Did you know that the culprit of headaches and other pain in the face, neck, and shoulders could be an improperly aligned jaw joint?
TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, the official name for your jaw joint. It is the joint that moves the lower jaw up and down when you talk, eat or yawn.
TMD is short for TMJ disorder, which is the misalignment of the jaw joint and its failure to function properly. About 20 to 30% of the American population suffers from TMD.
What causes TMD?
TMD is caused by a variety of factors. These include trauma, a misaligned bite, habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth, or activity that puts excess strain on the muscles of the jaw joint.
Symptoms of TMD
Although a diagnosis of TMD requires a thorough examination, here are some typical symptoms:
- Facial tenderness
- Pain around the jaw joint area
- Neck Pain
- Upper shoulder pain
- Difficulty opening the mouth widely
- Difficulty chewing
- Ringing in the ears
- Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth
What if I have any of these symptoms?
If you have any of these symptoms, or for some reason feel that you may have TMJ issues, schedule a consultation so that Dr. Chad can find the source of the trouble. Symptoms of TMJ, like with other dental problems, can become more severe if left untreated.
How is TMD treated?
Treatment and the elimination of symptoms is based on finding source of the trouble. Dr. Chad is highly skilled in treating TMD. He will do extensive tests to determine exactly where the TMD symptoms are coming from using high-tech diagnosis.
Dr. Chad analyzes the jaw joint, bite and surrounding muscles and measures bite force and how the teeth come together when you bite down. Based on his findings, he can determine the exact cause of your TMD and come up with an effective treatment plan.
In many cases, a mouthguard-like oral appliance is created to help reposition the jaw to its proper position. To help relax the muscles and ease the tension in the jaw joint, Dr. Chad may use BOTOX® as well as laser therapy. This can help relieve chronic headache and jaw pain.