What is TMJ?
TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone at the side of the skull. This joint is essential to daily jaw functions such as opening and closing your mouth, chewing and speaking. It also enables the jaw to slide forward and backward.
It has become common for people to refer to pain in the temporomandibular joint as “TMJ” (“I have TMJ!”). In reality, TMJ is the name of the joint, not the pain. Pain in this joint is really called TMD (TemporoMandibular joint Disorder).
What is TMJ Disorder or TMD?
TMJ disorder refers to any condition that impairs or causes malfunctioning in the opening or closing of the mouth. This condition can be caused by overwhelming pressure applied during normal chewing or simply a nervous tic. This damages the structures and their surroundings and leads to acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. This can result in significant pain in the jaw area, jaw muscles, side of the head, back, front of the neck, and sinuses, as well as impairment of motor functions.
Factors precipitating TMJ Disorder
There are many factors that put strain on the temporomandibular joint and thereby play a role in causing TMJ disorder. They include the following:
- Accidental trauma of the teeth
- Modification of bite pattern due to recent dental treatment that did not bring the jaw to its original position
- Teeth grinding, or any repetitive jaw movements
- Chewing gum or biting nails
Symptoms associated with TMJ Disorder
TMJ symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Frequent headaches
- Uncomfortable bite
- Neck/shoulder/back pain
- Head and facial pain
- Pain of the jaw joint
- Ear ache
- Jaw locking
Treatment of TMJ Disorder
At present, there are more than 50 treatments in use ranging from very conservative, reversible therapies to more aggressive, invasive approaches.
Fir proper treatment of TMJ disorder, there is no replacement for seeing a professional North Miami Beach / Miami TMJ treatment specialist trained to treat TMD, like Dr. Edderai.
We currently incorporate the latest diagnostic equipment and available treatments for the varying causes of TMJ Disorder and would be delighted to discuss them further with you during your dentistry consultation.
To learn more about the tools and techniques we use to diagnose and treat click on the links below.
- Joint Vibration Analysis
- Orthognatic Repositioning
- Myofunctional Therapy
Our TMJ patients come to us from Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Miami, Bay Harbor, Aventura, Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood.