What is the temporomandibular joint and where is it?
The temporomandibular joint is the ball and socket joint that connects the jawbone to the skull and is located right in front of each ear. TMJ disorder occurs when the joint is misaligned or not operating properly. Symptoms range from mild (a dull ache) to severe (migraines and chronic pain). For a more comprehensive list of symptoms, see below, or go to our Neuromuscular Dentistry page.
Are there known causes for TMJ?
While in some cases the cause of TMJ is unknown, there are quite a few common causes including the following:
- Mental and emotional stress
- Physical trauma or accident
- Bad habits, such a nail biting, chewing gum, clenching or grinding of teeth, that put undue pressure on the lower jaw
- Dental work that doesn't fit properly
- Arthritis or other types of inflammation
- Poor posture
- Hereditary conditions
How do I know if I have TMJ?
If you have any of the following TMJ symptoms on a consistent basis, it is worth an appointment with a neuromuscular dentist to be evaluated.
- Dull or sharp jaw pain
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Depression, in some cases
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Locking jaw
- Chipped or worn teeth
- Teeth that are loose for no apparent reason
- Tingling in the fingers
If you're in the Buffalo area, Dr. Evola and his staff can determine if you have TMJ and if so, plan an appropriate treatment. They are trained in the specifics of neuromuscular dentistry, the discipline in dentistry that deals with TMJ and other neuromuscular disorders.
Dr. Evola uses advanced computer diagnostic equipment to determine the proper positioning of your jaw and from that diagnosis, what treatments will be most effective for you.
Are there effective treatments for TMJ?
Fortunately, yes, there are effective treatments. For some people, the treatment may be as simple as breaking a chronic gum chewing habit. For others, the treatment may be more technical including bite therapy, mouth guards, jaw exercises and stretching, anti-inflammatory medications, corrective dental treatment and sometimes surgery.
For a neuromuscular dentistry consultation with Dr. Evola, call or email Forestream Dental today in Buffalo, Amherst, Lancaster, and Williamsville, New York. You don't have to live with untreated TMJ any longer. We're here to help you!