What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint (TMJ), is a small joint located in front of each ear. The TMJ is a very complex joint and is the most consistently used joint in the body. It is the TMJ that allows us to talk, chew and swallow. Due to the joints complexity and frequency of use it is subject injury just like any other joint in the body. Many people refer to the term “TMJ” to describe a symptom(s) related to their jaw joint dysfunction.
What is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) or Cranio-Mandibular Dysfunction (CMD) is a condition that disrupts the daily normal function of the jaw and is usually accompanied by a variety of symptoms and will vary from person to person. Common symptoms associated with TMD or CMD can be: jaw pain, face pain, jaw locking, jaw clicking, jaw popping, headaches, backaches, neckaches, ringing in ears, pain behind eyes, teeth grinding, worn teeth, clenching, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, tongue pain, gum pain, and tooth pain.
What Causes TMD or CMD?
There is not one specific reason why 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. Trauma to face or head, whiplash, bad bite (malocclusion), teeth clenching and grinding, ligament laxity, opening jaw too wide, and stress are all common associated risk factors that can contribute to TMD.
How is TMD or CMD Diagnosed?
In our office a detailed medical and dental history form is completed by the patient and then reviewed with the doctor in an in office consultation appointment. Based on the patients’ health history questionnaire, their specific symptoms and the nature of the pain, we will perform a physical examination to collect more information which will be used to properly diagnose the case. The physical examination will include a variety of testing and evaluating methods.
Physical examination will include:
- Structural/Postural exam and analysis including photos
- Airway examination and evaluation
- Cranial exam to evaluate the dental plane of occlusion, model analysis, and photos
- Dental examination includes an extensive oral evaluation, muscle palpation, Mandibular Scanning, and EMG muscle testing
- Neurologic examination include autonomic testing and evaluation
- TMJ examination includes Imaging and Joint Vibration Analysis
Why do you need all of this information?
Combining the information provided from the Medical/Dental health history forms and the collected information from the physical examination is the only way we believe an informative diagnosis can be made. Our goal is to eliminate the guess work, find the cause of your symptoms and correct problem.
Think of your diagnostic information as your personal map to wellness. In most cases, this will be enough information to create a diagnosis, start treatment and promote the healing process of your TMJ. But in some cases more information may be needed and you will be referred to one of our Alliance Healthcare Professionals.
Who is The Alliance of Healthcare Professionals?
The Alliance of Healthcare Professionals is a group of healthcare providers that work within the same standards of care and share similar healthcare philosophies. This network understands that not one healthcare service has the capability to provide every healthcare need. By working in conjunction with the alliance we can be certain that our co-patient receives the best possible care and treatment to promote their best overall wellness possible.
No longer do you need to feel by yourself you will have The Alliance of Healthcare Professionals at your service.