Many people have TMJ pain without even realizing what is causing their symptoms. What they do know, however, is that their mouth is the source of frustrating discomfort. We are pleased that more people are talking about TMJ disorder these days. It provides us with the opportunity to help more patients find relief. Here, we discuss what TMJ disorder is and what we can do to help you find relief from chronic symptoms.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder, or TMD, is a condition in which the temporomandibular joints that connect the lower jawbone to the skull are not working correctly. These joints are involved in the movement of the lower jaw and are therefore in motion every time we speak, chew, or open our mouth for any reason. Located in front of each ear, the TMJ hinge and pivot as the jaw moves in varying directions. Also involved in these critical movements are muscles, tendons, and joint pads that sit around the TMJ. With so many moving parts, there is susceptibility to strain.
Is This TMJ Pain?
There very term “TMJ disorder” lends to the perception that TMJ pain would occur in the joints of the jaw. This might be the case. However, many of the symptoms of TMJ disorder may appear to be completely unrelated to the jaw. These include:
- A sensation of fatigue in the jaw or face
- Change in the normal resting facial expression
- Face and neck pain
- Chronic headaches or migraines
TMJ disorder also causes the jaw to click, grind, or pop. Teeth may not fit together as they should because of malposition in the joints. In some cases, the jaw loses mobility and may become stuck in an open position.
Your Dentist Can Help
At The Hills Dental Spa in Austin, TMJ disorder is observed from a neuromuscular perspective. Our advanced training enables us to use innovative diagnostic tools including CT scans, sonography, MRI, electromyography, and TENS to observe the natural position of the jaw. Obtaining in-depth details of jaw position, teeth, existing dental work, and the joints, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan to restore structure and function.