Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), also called temporomandibular disorder is the pain and dysfunction of the mastication muscles (the muscles that enable jaw movement) and the temporomandibular joints (the joints which interface the jaw and skull). The most critical component is a pain, followed by limitations of mandibular movement, and interference from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) during jaw development.
Causes of temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) include:
• Teeth or jaw injuries,
• teeth or jaw misalignment,
• teeth grinding,
• bad posture,
• and gum chewing.
TMJ could be caused by different problems. Bad bite is the most common, but an injury as a result of a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. At first, the dentist will completely study the jaw area, the area of bite, take X-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to conclude the right diagnosis and propose necessary treatment.
Once a firm diagnosis is achieved, there are a few ways in which relief can be rendered. A specially molded bite guard can be built to stop teeth grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be proposed by the dentist. The dentist can also offer advice on relaxation methods which will ease the effects of stress. As a last option, the dentist can also prescribe muscle relaxants.
A better alternative is to change the shape of the teeth and remove of the bad bite completely, often called “realignment.” This relieves TMJ symptoms and can enhances the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Realignment comprises adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth meet together with the lower teeth. This may require new repairs and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well. It is not a painful process, and it is one the dentist has carried out with great success many times. As with any method, the dentist will be glad to answer questions and talk about symptoms, options, and treatments.
If you are having any symptoms of TMJ, we advise you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.