TMJ TherapyAn Overview
TMJ, short for temporomandibular joint, is the common term used to describe a chronic pain condition often associated with a misalignment or malfunction in the jaw joint. While there is no one cause or treatment for TMJ good diagnostics and analysis of the bite can allow for more precise treatment options and lasting results that address underlying oral health-related issues.
Patients with TMJ often suffer from painful symptoms for many years due to misdiagnosis of their condition. Dr. Heather Adams has advanced post-graduate training from the SPEAR academy on the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ-related disorders. Personalized consultations allow Dr. Adams to gain a better understanding of the underlying functional issues affecting the health of the jaw.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ can be caused by a number of factors, many of which cause muscle tension in the jaw which leads to associated symptoms. Patients with TMJ often also have some degree of malocclusion of the bite, crooked teeth, or other orthodontic issues. Additionally, an injury or trauma to the jaw can damage the TMJ and cause chronic pain symptoms.
Bruxism or habitual teeth grinding is another common cause of damage to the jaw joint and muscles. Patients who clench their jaw or grind their teeth often experience the painful symptoms of TMJ.
Do I Have TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the base of the skull. The joint is surrounded by many delicate muscles, tendons, and sensitive nerve endings. When the jaw is not properly aligned it can cause the added tension resulting in pain in the face, neck, and jaw.
Common symptoms of TMJ include:
- Popping or clicking of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw, face, or neck
- Reoccurring headaches
- Earaches or sensation of fullness in ears
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Numbness in the face or hands
- Excessively worn, chipped, or cracked teeth