Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)

What are Temporomandibular Joint Disorders?

TMJ

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJD), commonly called TMJ, are a complex and poorly understood set of conditions characterized by pain in the jaw joint and surrounding tissues and limitation in jaw movements. Injury and other conditions that routinely affect other joints in the body, such as arthritis, also affect the temporomandibular joint.  One or both joints may be involved and depending on the severity, can affect a person's ability to speak, eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, and even breathe.


What are the symptoms?

The Pain of TMJD is often described as a dull, aching pain which comes and goes in the jaw joint and nearby areas.  Some people, however, report no pain, but still have problems using their jaws.

Symptoms can include:

  • Facial pain 
  • Jaw joint pain 
  • Back, Neck, cervical pain 
  • Postural problems (forward head posture) 
  • Pain in the face 
  • Limited opening of the mouth (commonly known as “Locked Jaw”) 
  • Headaches (tension type) 
  • Pain in the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joints 
  • Pain in the occipital (back), temporal (side), frontal (front), or sub-orbital (below the eyes) 
  • Pain behind the eyes – dagger and ice pick feelings 
  • Multiple bites that feels uncomfortable or, “off,” and continually changing 
  • Clenching/bruxing 
  • Tender sensitive teeth to cold 
  • Deviation of the jaw to one side 
  • The jaw locking open or closed 
  • Ringing in the ears, ear pain, and ear congestion feelings
  • Sinus like symptoms 
  • Dizziness or vertigo 
  • Visual Disturbances 
  • Tingling in fingers and hands 
  • Insomnia – difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle Fatigue and tiredness

 

What causes TMJD?

The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself. Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow – can also cause TMD.

There are various types of muscles located in the face and neck area that hold your jaw, control the movement of your jaw, as well as allow you to chew and swallow. This muscle movement is done subconsciously, and if your bite (occlusion) is off, your body automatically strains your muscles to allow for your jaw to work; this is called accommodating. If your bite is off balance, your muscles will work extra hard to hold, control and allow for the chewing and swallowing. This is why over time, the temporomandibular joints become over stressed and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) or dysfunction occurs. The goal of a Gneuromuscular dentist is to find the natural position of your jaw and restore it to its optimal position in which the system (muscles, teeth and joints) are in balance, thereby eliminating TMJ disorders.


What are the solutions for grinding, clenching and TMD?

Although bruxism (grinding and clenching) cannot be completely eliminated, our doctors are DP Dental can help you prevent further damage to your teeth, jaw, head and neck muscles with several state-of-the-art options.

Please call us at (+65) 6282 0122 for further information and assistance. Our dedicated doctors at DP Dental are trained and certified in providing mouth guards and tension-relieving orthotic guards to help you prevent or resolve TMD related issues.

oc