Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD, is a relatively common condition that refers to symptoms that result from a misalignment of the teeth, the upper and lower jaws or, in some cases, the jaw joints themselves.
Symptoms can be quite painful and can often be mistaken for other problems.
TMD symptoms are numerous and can include:
• headaches and migraines,
• muscle pain in your face, neck, or shoulders,
• pain when you open and close your jaw,
• difficulty chewing,
• pain or ringing in the ears,
• and dizziness.
Your teeth, jaw, and surrounding muscles are all designed to work in harmony, and your teeth should all come together simultaneously. When teeth are missing or out of alignment the jaw is forced to shift position, and the muscles have to work harder than they should to bring the teeth together.
The constant strain on the muscles can also pull the disc that cushions the jaw joint out of position. If this happens, the bones of the jaw joint can rub against each other, not only causing pain but also damaging the joint.
There’s a lot of debate about what causes TMD. We may ask you about some suspected causes when we take your medical history. For example, grinding teeth while awake or asleep, trauma such as a car crash or fall, emotional stress, or your teeth being out of alignment, could be contributing factors.
Fortunately, TMD is treatable. First we’ll analyze your bite using advanced equipment to identify any problems. Then we may have you wear a custom-crafted orthotic for the next several months to relax the muscles, restore balance to the jaw joint, and stabilize the bite. Once we have stabilized your bite, we can permanently correct it. One example of something we may use to correct your TMD issue is a NTI splint. In other cases something more long term is needed. We will decide what is right for you based on your specific needs.
Depending on your situation, we may replace missing teeth, move teeth with orthodontic treatment, or place crowns and veneers on some or all of the teeth. Millions of people suffer from TMD, but with treatment, we restore harmony to the teeth, muscles, and jaw joint, and get you out of pain.