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Temporomandibular disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a painful disorder with many symptoms that affects the temporomandibular joint, an area that includes the jaw joint, the temporal bone of the skull (located in front of each ear), as well as the muscles surrounding the jaw and the jaw itself.
These areas of the head and face contribute to chewing/bite (occlusion) and all jaw movements. Therefore, TMJ disorder compromises jaw movement and may cause pain at rest or during common actions, such as talking, chewing and yawning.
The pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorders may be mild to severe and can be intermittent, with constant TMJ symptoms varying from patient to patient in intensity and duration.
What are the Symptoms and Causes of TMD/TMJ?
Symptoms can vary and include:
- Pain around your ears
- Pain in your jaw, tooth, face, neck, or shoulders
- Clicking or popping of your jaw (jaw instability)
- Inability to open your mouth in a normal range of motion
- Grinding your teeth
- Ringing or fullness in your ears
- Migraine headaches or any other type of headaches
- Sinus pressure and lack of draining
There are many causes TMD/TMJ, including:
- Braces/dental work
- Stress/teeth grinding
- Dental malocclusions (poor bite)
- Missing or bad teeth
- Muscle abuse/overuse
Comprehensive Treatment: The Three Aspects of TMJ Disorder
Effectively addressing TMJ disorders involves treatment of three factors. They include incorrect bite alignment (occlusion); disproportionate balance between the muscles and joints of the jaw, head, and neck; and management of stress imbalance through at-home care. These components all work together and inform each other, so the likelihood of successful treatment decreases when your dentist or doctor is not addressing all three parts.
Poor Occlusion and Bite Imbalance
Before the progression of advanced dentistry technologies, diagnosing a patient’s state of occlusion required some guesswork. Dentists could only measure the forces of a bite, and subsequently balance those forces properly between the muscles and joints of the head and neck, with the aid of imprecise and unreliable tools, such as pressure indicator paste, articulation paper, and waxes. These techniques were often inadequate and lacked the sensitivity necessary to detect simultaneous contact. Furthermore, these traditional methods failed to measure biting time and FORCE, which are both essential assessments when diagnosing TMJ disorder.
Successful diagnosis and treatment of your TMJ condition requires state-of-the-art technology. We use the only computerized test that can accurately and objectively measure your bite/occlusion. Do not leave your bite to chance!
TMD and Migraine or Tension Headaches
The most common TMD complaint is migraine headache accompanied by jaw, head, neck, and/or shoulder pain. Migraine headaches usually start in the forehead, temples, or back of the head. Those who clench or grind their teeth may also develop migraine-like headaches. Although the majority of migraines and TMJ headaches have various causes, they all have one thing in common: dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint of the jaw.
Most migraine headaches have two common attributes:
- Tenderness in the muscles of the jaw, head, neck, and face. These “hot spots” in the muscles – called trigger points – which create pain that causes migraine headaches and referral pain patterns.
- Clenching of the teeth (or bruxism)
The good news is that these migraine headaches and other headaches along with the associated pain can be treated effectively. There’s no need to continue to live with migraine headache pain when you can get relief from these symptoms naturally without drugs.
TENSION HEADACHES AND MIGRAINE HEADACHES ARE AMONG THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TMJ DYSFUNCTION!
Dr. Gorman Can Help You Find Relief from Your TMD/TMJ Pain
As a highly trained dentist in the treatment of TMD, Dr. Gorman has spent years learning and practicing the most advanced technology and research to bring relief to TMD patients. The heart of our practice is to help you find freedom from TMJ and related symptoms – especially TMJ tension headaches and migraine headaches.
Dr. Gorman’s firm commitment to his patients is to provide relief from migraine headaches, teeth grinding, jaw popping and clicking, fullness and ringing in ears, as well as any jaw, face, head, or neck pain related to TMJ. His approach is a comprehensive program for treating all TMJ problems.
He starts with a complete in-office assessment, including computer evaluation of head/neck/biting forces and their relationship to healthy muscle and joint positioning. We also use specific splint therapy that is customized for every patient.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gorman to receive your full assessment and begin your life without TMD/TMJ pain!