Fortunately, there are treatment options, many non-surgical, offered by our TMJ specialist doctors and dentist offer. We customize all TMJ treatments to your specific needs to ensure you receive optimal treatment for your TMJ symptoms.
There are many reasons you may suffer from TMJ, including:
DID YOU KNOW there is an intimate connection between the jaw and the ear through the first branchial arch? The temporomandibular joint (TMJ joint) and the petrotympanic suture connect the TMJ to the malleus and incus via Pinto’s ligament. While that may seem technical, it matters because Ear Pain may be located around the TMJ, but may be referred to the head, neck and ear. Ear pain that is located immediately in front of the tragus of the ear, projecting to the ear, temple, cheek and along the mandible, is highly diagnostic for TMJ due to trauma or compression and a sign of inflammatory arthritis. TMJ pain and dysfunction is often associated with neck and shoulder pain as well.
Ear Pain Symptoms Indicative of TMJ: Do you believe you are suffering from some kind of ear pain that is related to TMJ? Below is a list of symptoms
Tinnitus: Tinnitus is usually described as a ringing noise in the ears or head. It has been described as a high pitched whining, electric, buzzing, hissing, screaming, humming or whistling sound. Tinnitus can come and go or it can be continuous. It is often the cause of great distress, but the intensity of tinnitus can be moderated by adjusting the position of the shoulder, head, tongue and jaw. Our TMJ specialists can discuss specific treatment for tinnitus with you during your consultation.
Once your primary care physician has ruled out ear pathology or infection, the head and neck muscles – as well as the temporomandibular joint itself – can be evaluated for referral to the ear. The auricuotemporal nerve is often compressed sending pain into the ear.
TMJ is painful but does not have to be debilitating. There are plenty of treatments available to consider.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ Joints) are the hinges located on either side of the face that connect the lower jaw to the skull. Each temporomandibular joint has two sections that permit the hinge and gliding actions needed to open the mouth widely. The joints work together with the facial bones and five pairs of muscles to allow opening and closing of the mouth and forward, backward, and side-to-side movements of the lower jaw. Any disturbance of this facial symphony can trigger TMJ dysfunctions: muscles and joints not working together correctly, causing muscle spasm, resulting in pain, muscle tenderness, and tissue damage. With these disturbances, arthritic changes can accelerate, muscles can tighten and the bite can feel off. Simply having a dentist adjust the teeth usually makes TMJ symptoms worse and can throw the jaw further off line and create even more pain; this is why it is imperative to see a TMJ specialist like Dr Jill Ombrello and Dr Michael Rosellini.
Interesting fact: 80% of TMJ patients are women so estrogen plays a big role in setting the stage for the effects of micro and macro trauma. There are estrogen receptors in the TMJ so women of child bearing age are sensitized to feel increased pain in the TMJ. Clenching, Grinding and Bruxism produce micro trauma and repetitive strain injury which can cause degenerative changes and inflammation in the joint. 4 Bicuspid extractions in orthodontic therapy with over retraction of the maxilla are a very common contributing factor in our practice. Any headgear which retracts the maxilla can also contribute to TMJ disorders. Systemic joint laxity or hypermobility syndromein women make the TMJ more susceptible to injury, clicking, popping and locking. TMJ has many causative factors the more common of which are malocclusion or problems in the way the teeth fit together, a blow to the jaw or head, clenching or grinding of the teeth, arthritis of the jaw, poorly fitting dentures, yawning for prolonged periods with the mouth open too wide, recent dental work, accidents that damage facial bones or the jaw, extraction of teeth or missing back teeth, and traction involving the head, jaws, and neck. Because this dysfunction mimics so many other conditions, diagnosis may be complicated. Many people may spend a great deal of time and money searching for the source of their symptoms. If your physician cannot find any underlying conditions, he could consider the possibility of TMJ dysfunction and recommend that you consult a dentist with a special interest in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ dysfunctions.
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, the joint which connects the mandible to the temporal bone. The mandible is the moving component.
TMD refers to Temporomandibular Disorders which are joint, muscle, tendon and ligament disorders of the jaws. Pain and inflammation as well as limited opening, clicking and locking are included in this broad category. TMD is in the same medical class as TMJ.
Daytime symptoms typically call for daytime appliance therapy for at least 6-8 weeks along with cognitive behavioral attention. Nighttime treatment depends on the diagnosis. Breathing related sleep disorders may call for an appliance which maintains an open airway. There are a variety of appliances for sleep bruxism and clenching and grinding.
Hard acrylic appliances are best cleaned with efferdent or polident denture cleaners . Our team will use a special solution in the ultrasonic during your visits.
We only recommend emergency dental treatment prior to TMJ therapy and Oral appliance therapy for snoring and sleep apnea. One of the goals of TMD treatment is to find a jaw position where all chief complaints have been alleviated. Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea can change the bite. We want to alleviate all airway complaints and achieve a bite which is harmonious with an open airway.