Have you experience popping and clicking in your jaw that can be downright uncomfortable and feel a little strange? Even if you’re not in great pain, any abnormalities should always be evaluated by a professional like your Wilmington holistic and biological dentists at All About Smiles.
TMJ is a pretty popular term, and it’s used universally to describe issues or disorders of the jaw joints, chewing muscles, and your bite. TMD or TMJ dysfunction is a dental term that describes the collection of symptoms that can present themselves in various ways causing your bite to be off because things aren’t working together cohesively. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, which are the joints connecting your jaw to your skull.
When your jaw joints are not functioning as designed, they can cause many problems, such as:
– Clicking or popping noises
– Pain when you open and close your mouth
– Locking or limited movement when you open your mouth
– Muscle spasms
– Pain behind your eyes
– Earaches or ringing (tinnitus)
– Clenching or grinding of your teeth
– Worn, loose, or broken teeth
– Neck, shoulder, and back pain
– Numbness or tingling in your fingers
The first three symptoms on that list make sense. But the rest of the problems on the list can be deceiving to both patients and doctors.
Unfortunately, many TMJ issues, or TMD, often go misdiagnosed or completely undiagnosed. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, as many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ issues, and it occurs more frequently in women than men. These disorders are treatable, but there are many different possible causes. This can make diagnosis difficult.
The primary problem can be in the joints themselves, the muscles of the face and jaw; the bite (how the teeth fit and work for chewing), or a combination of these. Because the symptoms masquerade as so many other conditions, many people travel from doctor to doctor in search of relief. It is estimated that as many as 10-15% of Americans suffer from one or more of these symptoms. Many never think to seek a dentist trained in TMD for help.
Call us today at 302-239-1641 for a comprehensive checkup and a TMJ evaluation at our Wilmington holistic and biological dental office. We want to help you get the proper diagnosis, get out of pain, and get back to living life.