TMJ/TMD

tnj.jpgTMJ/TMD is a condition that effects the way the jaw and muscles work together in harmony. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint; it acts as a hinge, connecting your jaw to your temporal bones of your skull, located in front of each ear. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side so you can talk, chew and yawn. Issues with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control the jaw are known as TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder), TMJ, or TMJ Dysfunction.

Symptoms of TMD

The symptoms associated with TMJ/TMD vary from person to person and are often overlooked or misunderstood as being associated with the jaw. People can experience on or more of these symptoms and they can vary in intensity from mild to severe and even debilitating.

  • Headaches are a very common symptom with TMJ/TMD. These headaches can sometimes be attributed to “tension” headaches (which is actually a tension in the muscles of the head, neck and jaw because of jaw and bite imbalance). Many migraine type headaches have their root in TMJ dysfunction as well.
  • Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide.
  • Unexplained ear pain.
  • Ringing in the ears and blurred vision.
  • Problems when you try to open your mouth wide.
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “locked” in the open – or closed – mouth position.
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful.
  • A tired feeling in your face.
  • Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth – are not fitting together properly.
  • You may also have toothaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain.

What are the Treatments for TMD?

There are several treatment options available for TMD.

Traditionally, surgery or night guards were popular treatments for TMD but had limited or varied effectiveness and often resulted in some relapse or return of symptoms because they do not address concerns with the bite. Currently, Botox injections have become popular as they weaken the function of muscles to relieve symptoms, but injections must be repeated to be effective (for the same reason of not correcting the bite).

With specialized training in conjunction with orthodontics, Dr. Hough has successfully been treating TMJ / TMD since 1986 with a combination treatment that addresses jaw disposition, muscle dysfunction and bite imbalances. By correcting all of these factors the jaw joint has the best chance to remain stable and symptom free after treatment. Treatment is specific to each individual’s needs.

Call today for your complimentary consultation where he and his staff will evaluate your symptoms and discuss treatment recommendations as well as answer any questions you may have.