Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMD) is a common condition referred to frequently as “TMJ”. TMD is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. TMD sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of stress.
Your occlusion is the way your teeth come together. The most common cause of TMD is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “a bad bite.” It may also be caused by an injury to the jaw joint.
Bruxism (teeth grinding) is particularly common among TMD sufferers and usually occurs at night. The grinding wears down teeth and when left untreated, it can lead to severely worn teeth, cracked teeth, loose teeth, and damage to the jaw joints. Clicking and popping sounds when you open your jaws are an indication that the jaw joints are being affected.
Once a diagnosis is attained, a specially molded bite guard can be created to stop teeth grinding during the night. The teeth can also be realigned with orthodontics and the shape of the tops of the teeth can be adjusted. This adjustment, known as an “equilibration” procedure, alleviates the symptoms by changing how the upper and lower teeth come together in an even, balanced bite.
Every time we restore teeth with fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, and so on, we want to create the best occlusion possible so your restorations, the opposing teeth, and your jaw joints and muscles do not undergo the harmful stresses of a bad bite. Let us plan treatment to create a harmonious bite for you that eliminates TMD symptoms and supports oral health for the rest of your life.