Temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. Facial muscles that control movement are also connected to the lower jaw. It works as a sliding hinge and allows you to talk, eat and move your head from side to side. TMJ or Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a serious condition that causes pain and locking of jaw. Causes of TMJ may include:
- Extreme pressure on the joint while grinding or clenching.
- Displacement of disc due to constant erosion.
- Genetic and harmonic factors.
- Stress that causes muscle tightening in the face.
- Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia give rise to TMD.
Symptoms of TMJ:
TMJ commonly affects women aged 20 to 40. It can be temporary or may last for a few years. Some observable symptoms are:
- Clicking, popping or grating noises are heard while you move your jaw.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Extreme tenderness in the facial region and around the jaws while you move your mouth for basic functions like talking and chewing.
- The jaw might get locked or stuck.
Dr. Toschi is a master of occlusal analysis. He has the expertise to correct any patient’s bite. He utilizes computerized occlusion analyzer and joint vibrational analyzer for scanning the bite position and detecting derangement of the joint. Before beginning any treatment, severity of the TMD is detected. Occlusal analysis provides diagnostic information to decide the right treatment.
- Eat soft foods to avoid bite pressure
- Apply ice packs
- Avoid extreme jaw movements
- Daily jaw exercise
- Over-the-counter pain medicines for relief
A stabilization splint or mouth guard is provided by the dentist. It provides temporary relief from TMJ.
Your dentist may resort to orthodontics to permanently reposition the teeth and correct the bite. Occlusal adjustments can be made by reshaping the teeth so the upper and lower teeth meet correctly. This balances the bite. In some extreme cases, fillings or crows may be necessary to correct the bite.