TMJ Disorders

What causes TMJ disorders?

Many of TMJ symptoms are a result of poorly aligned teeth and an unbalanced “bad” bite.

In these circumstances, the TMJ and muscles must work harder to bring teeth together in order to function properly.

A bad bite can be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Clenching/grinding teeth
  • Trauma
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Underdeveloped Jaws

There is also a tendency for excessive subconscious clenching and/or grinding during the day and night while trying to find a balance in the bite. As a result, teeth wear down and fracture, the TMJ joints can slowly degenerate and surrounding muscles become strained and fatigued. Signs of a TMJ disorder can include popping and clicking in the jaw joints, limited opening with pain, and narrow jaws and crowded teeth.

There are many factors which can cause or contribute to TMJ disorders. They include trauma – any blow to the head or chin, whiplash injury, poor posture, abnormal bite (malocclusion), arthritis and hereditary growth and development factors which contribute to skeletal malformation. Stress at work or home also has an impact on existing TMJ disorders. Early signs of a TMJ disorder usually include clicking or popping noises. More severe displacements can be very painful. If left untreated, permanent change can result.

Treatment Options:

Often proper treatment can alleviate months to years of pain and suffering. Treatments vary considerably with each individual patient and includes one or several of the following options:

  • Fabrication and fitting of precise, custom-fitted orthotic appliance (sometimes called “splints”) to realign and stabilize the jaw joint
  • Cold Laser
  • Trigger Point injections
  • Chronic pain nutrition
  • Screening for Sleep Breathing Disorders (SBD) which can cause sleep bruxism

To learn more about treatment for TMJ Disorders, schedule an appointment at CityZEN Dental. Book a consultation online, or call the office today.