TMJ & Jaw Problems
Headaches? Neck pains? Clicking Jaw?
Flattened, worn teeth? Broken teeth, fillings and crowns?
All these problems can be related to your Dental Occlusion – the way your teeth meet together when you bite.
What is the TMJ?
The letters T.M.J are an abbreviation of Temporo – Mandibular Joint, which is the joint between your lower jaw and your skull. Movement in this joint enables you to open and close your mouth and chew from side to side.
If your teeth do not fit together properly then you can get problems in any of the structures that are involved in your bite: the teeth themselves, the gums, the Temporo – Mandibular Joint or the muscles that move the jaw. Together these are called occlusal problems.
Teeth that are out of line, heavily worn or constantly breaking, fillings that fracture or crowns that work loose may all be signs of occlusal problems. Teeth are often tender on the bite, hot and cold sensitive or may ache especially in the morning.
You may get unexplained localised recession of the gums and teeth may become loose. All this can be aggravated by a faulty bite.
Clicking, grinding or pain in the jaw joints, ringing in the ears, difficulty in opening or closing your mouth could all be due to your teeth not meeting together properly.
If your jaw is out of alignment, the muscles that move your jaw will have to work a lot harder and can get tired. Tired muscles can spasm and the main symptoms are continuous headaches or migraine, especially first thing in the morning. The symptoms also include pain behind the eyes, painful sinuses and pain in the head, neck and shoulders. Sometimes even the back muscles are involved. Up to one in four people suffer from some of these complaints: though rarely seek treatment. They put it down to stress and doctors often prescribe anti – depressants or long term painkillers.