Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Experiencing slight to severe discomfort and/or pain in your jaw and surrounding areas, your head and neck or even in your ears (including ringing in your ears, called tinnitus) – this type of discomfort and chronic pain can be, and is often, caused by various complications involving your Temporomandibular Joints. (Most commonly known as your jaw joints!)
Often times, many people refer to this condition as TMJ – when in fact they are really referring to the physical Temporomandibular Joint itself, rather than the actual condition TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).
Why May I Be Having TMJ Problems?
The causes of these issues with your TMJ can be broken down into a simple list for you to understand what you may be facing:
Vehicle accidents, sporting activities or even your dog bumping his/her head against yours can be causes of force related symptoms in the head, neck and jaw. The lists of causes for trauma are extensive. Head, neck and/or jaw trauma can cause stretching or tearing of the ligaments and muscles.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder involving progressive loss of cartilage and formation of new bone at a joint’s surface, causing stiffness and pain.
Wear and tear due to aging
As the body ages, so does the bite. Natural teeth wear at different rates from the dental work utilized on many patients. Fillings and crowns for example can be made from amalgam, precious metals, ceramics, etc. The different materials within your mouth can cause improper alignment of the teeth and forces the muscles and tendons to work harder to compensate for the imbalances. As we age, joints and cartilage also are reduced in thickness changing angles and forces within the overall dentomandibular region.
Stress and poor posture (such as from sitting in front of a computer for hours) can result in many of the symptoms outlined above. Weight gain and improper eating habits can also contribute to your head, neck and jaw pain.
After examination by Dr. Cabana, appropriate referals will be given.