What Is TMJ (TMD) And What Causes It?
Very often TMJ remains misdiagnosed. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ or TMD, you probably suffer from TMJ symptoms. Either way, you might want more information about it. What is TMJ exactly, what causes it and how is it properly diagnosed?
What is TMJ the body and jaw connection
Temporomandibular joint syndrome disorder is commonly referred to as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) or TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). TMJ disorder is a persistent and painful problem that afflicts millions of people around the world. There is an intricate network of bones, nerves and joints in the face. The temporomandibular joint is located near your ears where your jaw connects with your skull. The joints in this area are the most complex in the body, as the temporomandibular joint is necessary for all sorts of activities that involve your mouth, including eating, talking, laughing and yawning. TMJ disorder refers to the pain and discomfort that can occur when this joint is under stress. While not every ache and pain in this area can be attributed to TMJ, it can be useful to understand the most common signs of the disorder so you can seek treatment before the symptoms deteriorate. Some of these symptoms include migraine-like headaches, jaw clicking, facial pain and pain in the neck or shoulders.
Where is the Source of My Pain?
In this scenario imagine that you are a weight lifter and that you work out your biceps by lifting weights everyday. When you work out you normally do repetitions lifting weights with breaks in between in order to allow for the flow of oxygen to the muscle before you can further exert the muscle. Now imagine, that you will continually keep on pumping your biceps without taking any breaks in between the reps.
This is what happens on a typical TMJ patient; because of the misaligned position of the jaw, people suffering from TMJ often are attempting to reposition their jaws in a comfortable position, this lack of oxygen to the muscles along with the build up of lactic acid, causes tension and pain in the muscles in the form of headaches, ear congestion, ringing in the ears, neck pain, shoulder pain and at times tingling in the arms. In the images above notice how the compression of the muscles because of a misaligned bite, has caused the joint to accommodate (deteriorate) in order for the patients bite to close itself to a forced position. This forced position places involuntary compression on the muscles and the joints causing tension, lactic acid build up, depletion of oxygen to the muscles, and as a result sending impulses to the brain that in return will cause painful reactions on the muscle side.
Through Dr. Simanʼs expertise in neuromuscular dentistry, numerous patients have found cure to this debilitating chronic condition.