So what is TMD/TMJ Disorder?

TMD stands for Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder (or Dysfunction) and is an umbrella term used to describe various problems associated with your jaw joint (referred to as your “Temporo-Mandibular Joint”).

So while each of these terms are referencing the same part of your body and the problems associated with it, the terms are used interchangeably. Because we are referring to the disorder or dysfunction of your jaw joint, we commonly refer to this as TMD.

What causes TMD?

A “bad bite” or what is technically referred to as malocclusion, will eventually lead to an imbalance in the relationship of the upper jaw to the lower jaw. This will result in an unnatural, strained position for the muscles of the jaw. The muscles do not like this strained position. As such, they will compensate by constantly contracting. For the average person, this happens upwards of 2,000+ times per day. This will cause muscle spasm, pain and soreness.

As the muscles fatigue, there is a build-up of lactic acid and other waste metabolites. These waste products are what cause the spasms and discomfort. At some point, the body tries to flush out the muscles with increased blood flow, which results in the pounding headache. Muscles work together as a team. When the jaw muscles, which are involved with chewing, biting, talking, breathing and head posture are overused, they recruit muscles of the neck, shoulder and back. The tight, painful, contracted muscles of the jaw result in pain in the muscles of the neck, shoulder and back. Not all of our patients experience these symptoms, nor do we claim to be treating them. However, many patients are happy when these symptoms are relieved with physiologic treatment.

What are the symptoms?

There are many symptoms that can be associated with TMD. If you are experiencing any of these, then call us to book your initial consultation appointment.

  • Headaches
  • TMJ Pain
  • TMJ Noise
  • Limited Opening
  • Ear Congestion
  • Vertigo (Dizziness)
  • Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
  • Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing)
  • Loose Teeth
  • Clenching/Bruxing
  • Facial Pain (Nonspecific)
  • Tender, Sensitive Teeth (Percussion)
  • Difficulty Chewing
  • Cervical Pain
  • Postural Problems
  • Paresthesia of Fingertips (Tingling)
  • Thermal Sensitivity (Hot and Cold)
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Nervousness/Insomnia

Today, it is well recognized that these seemingly unrelated symptoms are all in a group related to TMD. Your Dental One Dentist and diagnostic technology have been very successful in providing substantial relief of these symptoms, thus helping patients regain their vitality and quality of life.

Taking away your pain!

The first step to dealing with TMD is to contact us for a to book your initial consultation appointment! Our goal is to bring back your teeth to a healthy bite position. Whether we use a balanced acrylic orthotic or a physiologic treatment system, the goal is to bring faster relief to the muscles of your face and neck. That way, your teeth can find their natural resting position, and you can start experiencing relief from your discomfort and pain. But experiencing relief is only the beginning.

It is all about balancing your bite! By balancing the muscle activity, joint position and tooth contact – as well as any posture issues you may have – your pain symptoms should decrease (and often disappear).

What’s next?

By having an examination with your Dental One Dentist, you will be offered a diagnosis as well as an individualized, exclusive treatment plan. To gain insight into your specific issues, modern science is used to determine exactly what is causing the problem. The analysis will show just how much damage has been caused. By measuring your jaw and neck while they are functioning, we will be able to determine the optimal balanced bite position for you.

The Goal

The healthy function of your teeth depends on the proper balance and function of your jaw joints, jaw muscles and teeth. When these three elements are balanced, teeth come together to allow the muscles and jaw joints to rest without strain or tension.

Ideally, you need happy muscles and a comfortable bite! The overall goal of physiologic dentistry is to enable normal jaw positioning by coordinating the relaxed function of your bite with the rest of your balanced posture. Whether you are a teenager with crooked teeth; an adult with jaw pain, clicking and headaches; or a senior who can’t chew well because your dentures don’t fit, physiologic dentistry has wonderful options to help you feel better, chew more effectively and smile more confidently.

We invite you to call us at (403) 590-7645 (Bankers Hall) to book your TMD or TMJ appointment today!