TMJ or TMD is a common term for a collection of symptoms and causes.

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What is TMJ Syndrome
or TMD?

TMJ is the Temporomandibular Joint which anatomically is a synovial gliding joint with a movable socket. It is the connection of the mandible (lower jaw) to the cranial base.

The extent of the joints movement in translation makes it unique unlike any other joint in our body. To complicate matters it is two joints, one left and one right joined through the body of the lower jaw.

It articulates the lower jaw to the cranial base through these two joints and the upper and lower teeth. It is the fit of the teeth that will ultimately determine the position of the TM Joints. This is why Dentistry plays a very important role in diagnosing and treating problems related to the TMJ.

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Shown above Dr. Parlett using a electronic motion tracking device to record all the movements of the jaw in function including mastication, speech, swallowing, bruxism (grinding of teeth).

This information is used to program fully adjustable instrumentation for duplicating your existing chewing dynamics or creating a better “bite”  if that kind of dental rehabilitation is necessary.

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What are Symptoms of
TMJ Syndrome?

Common symptoms may include:

  • Headaches.
  • Facial pain in the jaws , ears or temporal areas.
  • Inability to open the jaw fully
  • Dizziness or ringing in the ear
  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Clicking joints, limitation or locking of jaw when opening or closing.
  • Difficulty chewing tough foods.

If you have any of these symptoms you may suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

Treatments vary depending on the cause which is often multi-factorial.

Dr Parlett has an extensive background in diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. If you feel some of these symptoms apply to you and it is interfering with your day to day activity you should seek professional advice.

 

 

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Managing your Stress is a Factor
in TMJ Syndrome.

Stress definitely can play a roll.  Generally speaking, people who experience stress or even just a traumatic event can unconsciously try to alleviate the stress by grinding the teeth at night (referred to as bruxism).  This habit causes abnormal wear on the teeth surfaces and also leads to problems with the bite.

Any habitual clenching of the teeth and undo stress on the jaw can lead to an exacerbation of the  Temporomandibular Joint and can over time definitely contribute the symptoms.

In addition to dental treatment consider modifying the contributing factors to your stress so that the problems don't persist.