Do you suffer from chronic headaches, neck, shoulder or back pain?
These symptoms can all be linked to TMD – which is a disorder of the jaw joint. Luckily often jaw pain and TMD can be managed and corrected through simple dental appliances that can be truly life-changing.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is the term used when your teeth and jaw are out of their correct alignment. This may cause a variety of significant oral and general health problems. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the ball and socket joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It’s one of the most flexible and frequently used joints in your body, enabling you to move your jaw freely so you can speak, chew, yawn and laugh.
Factors that can contribute to the development of TMD:
- Missing teeth cause adjacent and opposing teeth to move out of alignment
- Repetitive strain on the jaw muscles caused through stress or physical activity
- Clenching and grinding of teeth (Bruxism)
- A fracture or dislocation of the jaw caused by an accident or sport injury
- Degenerative bone disorders. Eg. osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
TMD can evolve over a long period, and so corrective treatment may need to be ongoing.
- Head, neck or facial pain
- Pain when chewing
- Chronic headache similar to a migraine
- Shoulder or back pain
- Grinding or clenching of teeth (bruxism)
- Ear pain with no sign of an infection
- Limited jaw movement
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Clicking or popping jaw joints
- Pain behind the eyes
- Unrestful sleep
- General lack of energy
Neuromuscular dentistry looks at the relationship between the teeth, surrounding muscles and the jaw joints. When these three factors are not ‘working together’ this is when you experience the associated pain. It is possible to correct these joint, muscle and teeth issues by having a custom splint made by The Dental Practice team. These splints which look like a mouthguard fit over your teeth. They can provide relief for much of the symptoms caused by TMD.