Kanata Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction

It is estimated that millions of people in North America suffer from a wide array of neuromuscular disorders, which may be related to the temporomandibular joint (“TMJ”).

The TMJ and surrounding muscles link the lower jaw, or mandible, to the bone at the side of the head. You can feel this joint in action by placing your fingers at the side of your head, just in front of your ears. When you open and shut your mouth you will feel the joint flexing and relaxing. The TMJ is one of the most complicated joints in the human body because of its dual hinge and sliding capacity. The flexibility of the TMJ is demonstrated in its ability to smoothly move up-and-down (aiding in verbal communication) and side-to-side (enabling the chewing of food). Since there is a delicately balanced relationship between the jaw joint, teeth, head and neck muscles, and head posture, a problem in any one of these areas may affect the others.

There are many potential causes of TMJ disorders, some of which are still unknown and not all are fully understood. The bite can be a factor in many of these conditions thanks to the inter-relationship of the overall musculoskeletal systems. This is where a neuromuscular dentist may help resolve the problem.

Signs and Symptoms of TMD

  • Pain in the chewing muscles and/or jaw joint,
  • Headaches or migraines,
  • Jaw muscle stiffness,
  • Limited jaw opening,
  • Back, neck and / or shoulder pain,
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears),
  • Sensitive teeth (to hot and cold),
  • Worn or cracked teeth, or loose teeth caused by clenching or grinding,
  • Jaw locking,
  • Facial pain,
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw joint,
  • Difficulty swallowing,
  • Dizziness,
  • Chewing difficulties,
  • Posture problems,
  • Tingling of the finger tips,
  • Nervousness or insomnia,
  • Excessive snoring, and
  • Sleep apnea.

You may typically think that a number of the symptoms mentioned above as being conditions unrelated to dentistry. However, an imperfect bite often plays a significant role in these conditions. This is where Dr. Yolande Dmytrowski may help diagnose and treat TMD.

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