TMJ & TMD Causes
TMD has a number of causes, including trauma, disease, and wear and tear due to aging or habits. When teeth are missing, or out of alignment, it causes the jaw to shift positions and the muscles to work harder to chew, swallow, bite, etc. and eventually will cause muscle spasms, tension and pain.
Teeth grinding or clenching can also result in muscle spasms and inflammation that cause the initial pain from TMD.
After a thorough clinical exam, including tracking jaw movements and imaging of the TMJ, our specialists will accurately diagnose TMJ function and demonstrate the severity level of the problem. Other methods of testing can be utilized if needed.
Simple or mild cases of TMD can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and a hot/moist compress. More advanced or complicated cases require more significant intervention.
Frequent head or facial pain may be causing constant cranial muscle strain, which can be the result of an incorrect bite. Headaches from dental stress are a type of muscle tension headache. A tension headache may be on one or both sides of your head and feels like a dull, non-throbbing ache that can usually be relieved by aspirin.
Jaw clenching, either while awake or while sleeping, can set the stage for a chronic headache or migraine pain.
In certain cases, we may recommend creating bite splints, which are acrylic devices worn on the upper teeth to reposition the jaw to the correct neuromuscular position. With correct position comes less tension and muscular pain.