TMJ Dysfunction

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction can be associated with headaches, neck, shoulder, jaw and ear pain and even tinnitus.

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction or disorder relates to a number of health issues resulting from a misalignment of the jaw joint.

Nearly 70% of people will appear to have some form of TMJ Dysfunction. However, only 5-12% will have any related medical symptoms serious enough to require treatment. TMJ is officially known as Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD) but most refer to it as just TMJ.

Temporal Mandibular Joint. shows the position of the joint where it connects with the ear canal and temporal bone
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What are symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction?

A range of symptoms are triggered by a misalignment of the TMJ. Some may be minor but other serious issues may develop which can disrupt day everyday life and become unbearable such as:

  • Headaches – Tension headaches that feel like a throbbing sensation in a ring around the head, like wearing a hat a few sizes too small. These can sometimes be mistaken to migraines.
  • Clicking jaw - A clicking, popping or snapping sound in the jaw joint almost always accompanies TMJ Dysfunction.
  • Jaw or ear pain – Sustained and severe pain in the jaw or ear can often related to an issue with the TMJ being misaligned.
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain – An incorrect bite (either under bite or overbite) can cause abnormalities in the jaws position with the skull. The jaw is then twisted into a strained position that triggers pain in the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and back
  • Tinnitus - Ringing in the ears can often caused by a strained bite due to a misalignment of the jaw. Tinnitus is often misdiagnosed and is frequently treated ineffectively or not at all. If you suffer from tinnitus it is worth ruling out TMJ dysfunction as the cause.

What are the causes of TMJ Dysfunction?

  • Stress - tense muscles in the neck and jaw brought on by stress can cause the TMJ to become misaligned and lead to dysfunction.
  • A blow to the jaw - a trauma to the jaw area can knock the TMJ out of alignment
  • Incorrect bite - an incorrect bite (known as malocclusion)
  • Grinding teeth - Excessive grinding if teeth creates constantly tense jaw muscles which can disrupt the TMJ.

Your TMJ treatment with Dr Finkelstein

There are numerous ways to both temporarily and permanently relieve the symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction. The ultimate goal is to realign the jaw so the TMJ can perform normally.

Treatment 1

Bite guard

A bite guard is a dental orthotic used to prevent the clenching of teeth and reducing the inflammation in the TMJ region, therefore relaxing the muscle spasms and realigning the condyle in a better position. After assessing your bite and jaw, we can prescribe the most appropriate bite guard which has the ability to remove TMJ symptoms.

Treatment 2

Neuromuscular dentistry

Our neuromuscular dentist techniques explore the intricate relationship between the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in the face and neck. They aim to relieve tension in the jaw and connected muscles by repositioning the bite.

While neuromuscular dentistry does not claim to treat neck, back, shoulder, or arm pain directly, a realignment of the bite can alleviate pain in many areas of the body

Treatment 3

Jaw exercises

Exercises to gradually relieve tension in the TMJ are provided so that habitual clenching of teeth is avoided.

Treatment 4

Muscle relaxants​

Muscle relaxant medication can be prescribed to allow jaw muscles to relax quickly. This allows the TMJ to be better positioned and less likely to pulled out of place by over-stressed muscles.

Treatment 5

Surgery

Surgery is a last-resort treatment but may be necessary to realign the TMJ. Numerous surgeries from keyhole to open jaw surgery to realign the TMJ and prevent the numerous symptoms that TMJ triggers.

Skeleton assuming a thinking pose
SonoMed TMJ Dysfunction bite guard

How much does TMJ treatment cost?

Costs will depend on the course of TMJ treatment. This can vary greatly from the issuing of muscles exercises to surgery. The first step is to get a diagnosis for TMJ so that you can be confident that your pain can be addressed with TMJ treatment.

 

Are you suffering from TMJ symptoms?

Get a professional diagnosis with Dr. Finkelstein to begin treatment towards TMJ pain relief.

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.  Dr Finkelstein will explain these to you carefully at the time of your consultation as well as address any questions you may have.  We also recommend before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.