Tempero-mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction is a common condition that often leads to debilitating pain and causes people to make enormous changes to their lifestyle. It often begins with minor symptoms including jaw clicking, popping or stiffness, headaches, neck pain, reduced jaw opening or uneven tooth wear and breakage.
The TM joint is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull and if you place your finger at the bottom of your ear, you can feel the joint move when you open and close your mouth. It is the most used joint in your body, and like your hip or knee joint, it can become worn or suffer damage from injury. Unfortunately it is also the last joint in your body to show signs of damage, so you are often not aware that a problem exists until significant damage has occurred.
For many years, dentists have been using "night" or "grinding" splints to protect the teeth from wear and damage from tooth grinding. Unfortunately, in many cases this has simply been a band aid solution for a serious underlying jaw condition. If your jaw is damaged or is in a position that is placing pressure on vital nerves and blood vessels, it needs to be given time to heal, just like any other part of your body. A traditional "splint" doesn't allow the jaw to be repositioned to allow the healing process to occur. The symptoms may be temporarily reduced, but the damage is still occurring. TMJ dysfunction is a progressive, degenerative condition and needs to be treated correctly.The dentists at Anzac Avenue Dental have a special interest in TMJ disorders and have completed extensive training specific to TMJ. They use world class diagnostic tests and treatments to reduce your pain and minimise the damage that is occurring. They have been responsible for helping their TMJ patients to regain control of their lives, pain free.
If you suffer from jaw symptoms or recurrent headaches, don't put up with and don't assume it will eventually go away. TMJ dysfunction is serious, but it is manageable with the correct treatment.For more information about TMJ dysfunction or to schedule an appointment, call Anzac Avenue Dental on 07 3491 8131.