Thursday, October 20, 2016

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ Disorder is a common affliction that often goes undiagnosed. The discomfort can range from the mildly annoying to debilitating. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key as it is with many medical problems. Simply put,TMJ Disorder is the presence of pain and/or loss of function in the joints and muscles of the jaw. Below is a list of common symptoms that may indicate a TMJ Disorder problem...

  • Jaw pain and/or stiffness
  • Headaches, usually at the temples and side of head
  • Vague tooth soreness or toothaches which often move around the mouth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Painful or tender jaw joint
  • Difficulty opening jaw
  • Pain and fatigue when eating hard or chewy foods
  • Clicks, pops, or grinding sound in jaw joint
  • Ear pain
  • Cervical neck tension and pain
  • Tooth wear
  • Awareness of grinding/clenching teeth while sleeping or awake (Bruxism)
  • A pattern of breaking or cracking teeth with no other cause, i.e. tooth decay or trauma
  • History of medically diagnosed migraine headaches (common incidence of concurrent TMD)

Having any of these symptoms may indicate the presence of a TMJ problem that should be evaluated by your dentist. The good news is that most TMJ Disorder problems can be managed effectively with a combination of bite splints and physical therapy. At the Baltimore Center for Laser Dentistry we often prescribe the NTI device which is a cost effective solution that yields results in the great majority of cases. For more in depth information visit our TMJ Disorder webpage at