Does your jaw hurt when you wake up in the morning? Maybe that pain subsides and re-emerges again later in the afternoon. When you open your mouth, do you hear a popping sound? Perhaps it’s hard to close your mouth sometimes. Maybe you are prone to headaches and earaches.
The conditions mentioned above are all symptoms of disorders associated with the temporomandibular joint.
A primer on TMJ
One TM joint is on each side of your head, just in front of the ears. Together, these joints work with a system of muscles,teeth, ligaments, discs, and bones. They act as a sliding hinge, facilitating different movements needed to chew or speak.
A group of conditions related to one or both TM joints, facial muscles, and nerves is known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
A common condition, more than 15 percent of individuals with chronic jaw, head, and ear pain are thought to suffer from TMD.
It’s not known “why” women are twice as likely to have these conditions as men, and for every man with severe symptoms, almost nine women suffer from TMD-related pain.
There is still much to learn about TMD.
Generally, interaction among parts of bones in the joint allows smooth motions of the jaw. Movement becomes disordered when the small, shock-absorbing disk separating these bones erodes or shifts out of alignment and the cartilage covering these bones or the joint itself is damaged.
Such erosion, damage, and trauma have been linked to conditions including:
Role of stress
Consider how teeth grinding has been linked to stress, and how certain competitive or worry-prone personalities seem to be more prone to TMD.
Now think of how grinding wears down your teeth and causes chips, breaks and shifts.
It’s believed frequent grinding and clenching factor into TMD, as jaw muscles are “overused.”
Even lifting a heavy object is thought to worsen the condition, as this action causes you to unknowingly tense and grind your teeth together.
There is help
The good news is Dr. John L. Aurelia has extensive experience treating individuals with TMD.
We may recommend the following, based on your needs:
We want to stop the pain that interferes with you enjoying life. By treating your symptoms, you’ll avoid seeing us again for other procedures brought on by TMD. All of that wear and tear can damage otherwise healthy teeth. Restorations can crack. We may need to replace crowns and fillings.
Protect your investment in your oral and general health with TMD treatment in Troy, MI by calling Dr. Aurelia at (248) 243-6044.