Do you suffer from TMJ?
If you have the following symptoms, it is likely that you do:

  • Headaches: sometimes of migraine proportions.
  • Ear pain symptoms: ringing in the ears, hearing loss, “plugged” ears, ear pain, a feeling of “underwater”
  • Clicking/Popping: There is a pad or disc which ideally sits between the temporal bone and mandible in the TM Joint. This cushion, like a magic carpet, can slip out of place causing clicking when opening and closing. Clicking can lead to locking and grating or crepitus.
  • Locking: When a disc is chronically displaced, it does not always click back into place. This leads to locking of the jaw joint with deflection of the jaw and limited range of motion.
  • Jaw Pain: Although it can originate from many sources, the most common reason for jaw pain is dental, then musculoskeletal. Most dentists can rule out dental decay, periodontal disease or root canal as the offending dental pathology. Muscles, tendons, ligaments and the temporomandibular joint can all cause jaw pain. Jaw pain can radiate from the neck.
The Healthy Start System™

It’s estimated that tens of millions of men, women, and children suffer from TMJ and TMD, many of whom have no knowledge of their condition or how to seek TMJ treatments from a qualified TMJ Doctor or Dentist. Headaches and pain are the most common complaints from those afflicted with TMJ. Around 80% of patients with a TMJ disorder complain of a debilitating headache, and over 40% report some kind of facial pain. Your TMJ condition may unfortunately only worsen with time if you do not seek treatment from a TMJ specialist doctor or dentist. Without proper TMJ treatment you will experience increasing joint damage or inflammation, and further wear and breakdown of your teeth, which typically leads to increases in muscle contraction and consequently increased head, neck and facial pain. If your jaw is not correctly aligned, you’ll add wear and tear every time you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn: even while you sleep.

TMJ Treatments:

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.

  • TMJ Oral Appliances –Sved appliance, Garcia splint- TMJ appliances all reposition the jaw to decrease clicking and decompress the auriculotemporal nerve. Stabilization appliances are also used for myofascial pain and cognitive behavioral habit control.
  • Orthodontic appliances can also be used in the course of treatment.
  • Trigger Point Injections: Trigger point injection therapy involves the injection of a local anesthetic into tender points to eliminate pain and re-educate the muscles.
  • Sleep Appliances for TMJ: Breathing related sleep disorders are often diagnosed in conjunction with TMJ disorders. Oral sleep appliances can be prescribed in these cases.
  • Physical Therapy for TMJ: Manual physical therapy can be used in myofascial release, mobilization of the TMJs, and deep muscle therapy.

What Might Cause TMJ?

There are many reasons you may suffer from TMJ, including:

  • Bruxism: A stereotyped movement disorder which occurs during sleep can overload the TMJ as a repetitive strain type injury and also exacerbate muscle pain.
  • Estrogen: Adolescent girls can experience idiopathic or internal condylar resorption. Perimenopausal women also frequently complain of TMJ sensitivity and bite changes secondary to the presence of estrogen receptors in the TMJ.
  • Autoimmune: Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Lupus, Sjogrens, Reiters syndrome, and seronegative arthritis can be responsible for jaw pain and bite changes.
  • Joint laxity: Elongated ligaments allow the disc to easily slip out of position.
  • Trauma: Macrotrauma, bad falls, blows to the chin, intubation and wisdom tooth extraction can all lead to joint strain or sprain.
  • Sleep: Lack of stage 3 and 4 NREM sleep can lead to overall or widespread pain and fatigue. Healing occurs with 7-8 hours of deep restorative sleep.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis can be localized as an osteo or traumatic arthritis, or systemic as an auto immune disease. With this, you can also experience inflammation. Inflammation may be localized.

TMJ AND YOUR EARS:

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.

Ear Ache

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.

  • Dizziness
  • Faintness
  • Light-headedness
  • Vertigo (spinning sensation)
  • Floating or swimming sensation
  • Loss of balance or feeling of unsteadiness
  • Ear Sensitivity: Sensitivity can occur when the ear is overly sensitive to certain frequency ranges of sound. Thus people suffering from hyperacusis find it very difficult to adapt to seemingly-loud, everyday sounds.
Ear Ache

TMJ is painful but does not have to be debilitating. There are plenty of treatments available to consider.

Frequently Asked TMJ Questions to Central Dentist’s TMJ Doctors & Dentists:

What is TMJ exactly?

What causes TMJ?

What does TMJ mean?

What is TMD?

How do I use my TMJ appliances?

How do I clean my appliances?

Do I get my teeth fixed before I see you for TMJ and Sleep Disorders?