Temporomandibular- Joint-Dysfunction (T.M.J.)

Symptoms of T.M.J.

The syndrome of T.M.J. Dysfunction may begin abruptly, especially following an injury to the jaw or neck area. The most common symptoms of T.M.J. are:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness and or Light-headedness
  • Ringing, Buzzing or Clogged Ears
  • Spasm and Tightening in the back of the neck, shoulder or jaw
  • Clicking or Grinding noises on opening or closing the jaw
  • Inability to open the mouth fully
  • Pain on opening the jaw or when chewing
  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Fullness in the sinuses
  • Pain in the back of the eye

Patients with T.M.J. disease or dysfunction can exhibit some, most, or all of these symptoms. They generally do not bring these symptoms to the attention of their family dentist because they cannot rationalize a headache, backache, dizziness or ringing in the ears, being associated with their teeth or jaws.

Treatment of T.M.J.

Treatment for T.M.J. Dysfunction may include occlusal adjustment such as balancing of the biting surfaces of the teeth, and/or the placement of an acrylic appliance (sometimes called a bite guard or a night guard) constructed by the dentist, over the biting surfaces of the upper or lower teeth. The patient is sometimes instructed to wear this appliance close to 24 hours per day (removing it only when eating and for cleaning) while at other times night wear is sufficient. The length of treatment time varies from several weeks to months. Some types of appliances closely resemble a retainer frequently used by orthodontists. For the most part, these appliances are relatively inconspicuous.

Most patients respond favourably once treatment has begun and notice a decrease in the intensity of their symptoms. Once the symptoms are under control, the treating dentist will re-evaluate the relationship of the upper and lower jaw to determine if further treatment is necessary.

Treating T.M.J.

The identification of patients with T.M.J. Dysfunction is rather new, and is being recognized by an ever increasing number of medical and dental practitioners. In some cases, the coordination of medical and dental therapy may be indicated. The dentist will treat the diseased relationship of the teeth and spasms of muscles of the joint mechanism, while the physician will be called upon, if necessary to treat the psychological status of the patient.

Remember! T.M.J. Dysfunction is real, and the problem may lie in your jaw, not your mind. If you are experiencing jaw problems, or any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not hesitate to call our Stoney Creek dental office. Dr. Mansbridge has an outstanding team of dental surgeons, dentists and dental hygienists to serve you, and help you live comfortably. Dental pain is sometimes very hard to pinpoint, and often, we learn to adapt to it, or feel like if we ignore it, that it will go away. We have the tools and experience to understand your mouth, and can assist you with TMJ or any dental concerns you may have.

In the interest of better periodontal health.

Dr. Bruce Mansbridge - Hamilton Dental Surgeon

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