What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for the ‘Temporomandibular Joint’. These joints are located in front of each ear and operate as a “ball and socket”. They happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body. To work correctly these joints depend on proper alignment of muscles and teeth to work smoothly.
Who suffers from TMJ?
The majority of people suffer from TMJ to some greater or lesser degree. Reports indicate women experience more pain from TMJ, while men often attain greater damage to their teeth. Children are particularly sensitive to TMJ and often show symptoms of ear infections, leaning their head on their arm, biting their fingers, sucking or chewing, headaches, snoring or grinding their teeth at night.
What causes TMJ?
Most TMJ conditions stem from Malocclusion (which basically means a ‘bad bite’). When teeth are misaligned they are unable to support the muscles in the face. These muscles are then forced to sit in a strained position, causing pain in the face, head, arms, shoulders and back. Another major contributor to TMJ is stress.
Why does TMJ affect so many areas of the body?
In the area of the face where the Temporomandibular Joints are located there is an intricate network of bones, including; teeth, muscles and nerves. This is the reason TMJ affects so many areas of the body from the head (with migraines and headaches) to numbness and tingling in the body and pain in the back or shoulders.
How is TMJ treated?
TMJ is treated by a Neuromuscular Dentist. Dr. Cortés will measure the position of your jaw and determine your optimal jaw position. She will then work to realign your bite and restore teeth to this position. Once your bite is realigned and jaw is in place, the TMJ pain and symptoms disappear.