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When weighing the pain and inconvenience of temporomandibular joint disorder, TMD against going to the dentist, most people decide to put up with the pain. TMD is a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, which is the hinge of your jawbone. The jawbone is one of the most powerful levers of your body and exerts enormous forces when you chew. TMD causes vary almost as much as TMD symptoms. A trained neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Chung will be able to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of your TMD.
What Causes Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD/TMJ?)
Bruxism is the medical term for grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw and approximately 30 to 40 million people suffer some level of bruxism. Whether you do it in your sleep, or just unconsciously throughout the day, bruxism exerts two to three times the normal amount of pressure on your TMJ. That constant pressure stresses the bones and muscles of your mouth, not to mention the damage it does to your teeth.
The jawbone works as a lever with the fulcrum at the TMJ. If one side of the fulcrum is offset due to misaligned teeth, it can result in TMD. A severe overbite, under-bite, or a tooth that sits funny may affect the chewing action, stressing the jawbone and muscles of your mouth. These stresses can radiate and cause symptoms like tinnitus and ear pain that do not seem to be associated with jaw pain.
Other causes include:
- Genetic disposition
Since the symptoms are also commonly associated with other health problems, TMD may be difficult to diagnose. As a neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Chung is specially trained to treat all causes of TMD. Regardless of the cause of your TMD, Dr. Chung will diagnose the problem and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.
Some of the possible treatments may include:
- Tooth extraction
- Mouth guard
- Neuromuscular Surgery
Ancillary damage such as worn teeth and damaged facial nerves may also need to be addressed with cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry once the underlying causes of TMD are corrected.
Treating the underlying causes of TMD is the key to easing the pain and suffering that you are experiencing. If you think your symptoms are caused stresses on your jaw, for whatever reason, you need to have it checked out by a qualified neuromuscular dentist. Please contact Softouch Dental Care today to schedule an initial TMD/TMJ consultation.