Competent Treatment For Painful And Misaligned Jaw Joints
Your jaw joint could be the cause of your headaches, ear pain, facial pain and other discomforts
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint or jaw joint) is one of the hardest-working joints in your body. It is composed of two hinge joints where your lower jaw (mandible) meets your “temporal” skull bone immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head.
This flexible joint allows you to smoothly move your jaw to chew, talk and yawn. However, when the TMJ or the muscles connected to it are functioning poorly, the stress on the muscles supporting the jaw relays to the rest of head and neck, causing painful symptoms such as headaches and other symptoms. If you can reverse this chain of tension you can relieve the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
Typical symptoms of a TMJ in trouble, known as TMD (TMJ Disorder), are:
- Neck aches
- Upper shoulder pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Facial pain or tenderness around the jaw joint area
- Difficulty opening the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “locked”
- Clicking, grating or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth
- Difficulty chewing
What are the causes of TMJ disorder?
- Misaligned bite – Your bite is how your teeth come together. Misalignments in bite, such as an overbite, cause undue stress on the muscles that move the jaw in chewing and on the nerves that control these muscles. As well as causing TMJ pain, this pain can also be “referred” to other parts of the head and neck.A bad bite can occur as a result of inherited jaw misalignments, through trauma and as a result of broken-down or worn teeth.
- Teeth clenching and grinding (Bruxism) – Some people are habitual teeth grinders or clenchers, often done unknowingly during sleep. This constant pressure on the TMJ causes the muscles to tense up, leading to various symptoms of pain.
- Dislocation of the joint from the socket
- Trauma and injury
- Stress – People experiencing a great amount of stress can get into the habit of tightening their facial and jaw muscles or clench their teeth.
Dr. Kardaris regularly treats patients for TMJ disorder. She finds that 20% or more of her patients need some kind of treatment. She can treat TMJ disorder that is caused by teeth clenching and grinding.
She uses a simple approach to treating TMJ disorder.She makes a custom oral appliance called an NTI, that is molded to fit your teeth. It is a small, nearly invisible device that you wear over your front teeth while you sleep. Wearing this device reduces clenching intensity by 66% and helps the jaw to relax.
Dr. Kardaris can fit you for the NTI appliance in one visit.
If you think you might be suffering from TMJ or you are clenching and grinding your teeth make an appointment with Dr. Kardaris to see if this treatment might help you.