TMJ/TMD

TMJ/TMD Temporomandibular Joint Disorder refers to a painful condition where the mastication muscles, the muscles that move the jaw, and the temporomandibular joints, the joints that connect the mandible to the skull, are not properly functioning.

Minor TMJ Disorders usually result in temporary pain and discomfort that can be resolved with self-managed care. However, anyone with the following TMJ symptoms should consider an evaluation to prevent or avoid future issues.

Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of TMJ Disorders may include:

  • Jaw pain.
  • TMJ pain.
  • Ear pain.
  • Vertigo/dizziness.
  • Facial pain.
  • Bruxism or grinding your teeth.
  • Headaches or chronic migraines.
  • Sensitive, loose or worn-down teeth.
  • Pain while chewing or chewing difficulty.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Stiffness or neck and shoulder pain.
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth due to the jaw locking.

There is also a possibility that TMJ Disorders may cause clicking, popping and/or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth or while chewing.

TMJ Disorder commonly causes discomfort in the jaw joint, which is very close to the ear. People who are experiencing TMJ often present ears issues including ringing in the ears, tinnitus, feeling of being underwater, or stuffiness in the ears.

More commonly referred to as grinding your teeth, bruxism is a repetitive jaw-muscles activity characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or bracing or thrusting of the lower jaw. Many people who do bruxism are not aware that this could be a symptom of an underlying and undiagnosed sleep disorder because this condition is so commonly chalked up to stress.

Ear Pain
Jaw Pain
Headache
Dizziness
Neck Pain

When To See a Doctor

Consider seeking medical attention and book your appointment with a TMJ specialist if you have symptoms such as persistent pain, tenderness in your jaw, jaw locking and/or if you are unable to open or close the jaw completely.

Using TMJ advanced technologies and state-of-the-art equipment, our highly experienced TMJ expert at German Dental & Neuromuscular Clinic has helped many patients with TMJ misaligned problems, locking jaw, earaches, headaches, and many other symptoms resulting from TMJ Disorder. While TMJ Disorder is not life-threatening, it may lead to significant discomfort and tension if it goes untreated. Experiencing chronic pain may result in anxiety and depression.

When TMJ Disorders lower the quality of life, it is a serious and chronic condition that needs to be well treated and resolved as soon as possible.

TMJ Disorders must always be treated by professionals, regardless of how mild or severe the condition is.

At German Dental and Neuromuscular Clinic, the treatment isn’t just managing the symptoms; we are treating the cause!

Managing symptoms is just finding temporary relief. We seek out the underlying cause of the problems a patient struggles with and address them. Each patient is given a treatment plan tailored to their needs, delivering the care they require.

You can book an appointment through our website or whatsapp. You can also schedule a virtual consultation with us. This consultation is designed as a pre-appointment for patients interested in being treated at our office. The virtual consultation is 20 minutes where your primary symptoms are reviewed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Headache is a common symptom experienced by those who grind their teeth at night while sleeping (Bruxism). Other symptoms may include muscle aches, neck and shoulder stiffness, TMJ-related pain, tinnitus, and sleep issues. Bruxism can also have some long-term oral health issues. The most notable ones can be jaw damage and chipped or cracked teeth.

While the symptoms will vary from person to person, some of the most common symptoms include: 
1- Headaches – recurring or chronic.

2- Earache or ear symptoms of stuffiness or ringing.
3- Facial Pain or Jaw Pain.
4- Neck pain or stiffness.
5- Jaw joint sounds – clicking, popping or grating noises.
6- Limited ability to open or close mouth.
7- Jaw locking (open or closed).
8- Sensitive, loose or worn down teeth.
9- Difficulty swallowing.
10- Difficulty sleeping.

If any of these symptoms affect your daily life or you are regularly taking pain or sleep medications, you should be evaluated by a trained dentist.

TMJ means temporomandibular joint or the joint between your lower jaw and the skull. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder/ dysfunction. The difference between the two is that TMJ refers to the joint itself, while TMD refers to issues characterized by inflammation or misalignment of the joint.

Chronic headaches are often a symptom of undiagnosed conditions of sleep-related breathing disorders or an injury to the temporomandibular joint and surrounding structures. Dr. Jocelyne Charest is able to find the primary cause and provide effective treatment for patients.

Unlike splints, the orthotics appliance we use are individually designed and fabricated using the neuromuscular bite technique to provide the best position and fit for healing. They are used short term to provide decompression to the joint during the rehabilitation process.