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Bites Problems – TMJ Disorder

 Experiencing TMJ Disorder in Kitsilano?

Turn to West Coast Smile for Relief. Very few parts of our bodies are as taken for granted or as busy on a daily, even hourly basis as our jaws. Most people exercise other parts of their body, get massages for muscles, while the jaw can end up forgotten.

One part of our jaws, the Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ), connects the lower jaw (the  Mandible) to a place on the side of the head (the Temporal Bone). The name ‘TMJ Disorder’ describes a group of conditions associated with pain, discomfort, or dysfunction to a patient’s TMJ.

The TMJ has both the ability to slide and hinge and this makes it one of the most complicated joints in the entire human body. Because it is such a complex joint, it should come as no surprise that a large percentage of people experience problems with their TMJ in Vancouver (some research suggests up to 25% experience problems with their TMJ).

Dr. Jeffrey Norden, a TMJ Specialist in Kitsilano, is ready to help you find the best solution to help resolve any problems you are experiencing with your TMJ.

What Are Common TMJ Symptoms:

There are three main sets of symptoms that might suggest someone might be suffering from TMJ disorder:

  • Discomfort and pain in the muscles controlling the function of your jaw
  • Traumatic injury to the jaw, a displaced disc, or dislocation of the jaw
  • Arthritis which has manifested itself in your jaw

Some of the ways you might experience these symptoms might include:

  • Radiating neck, face, or jaw pain
  • Temporary locking of the jaw or limited jaw movement
  • Painful Clicking, Popping, or Grating associated with the opening and closing of your mouth or with jaw movements
  • Alterations in the way your upper and lower teeth come together when you shut your mouth
  • Headaches (often appearing to mimic migraines)
  • Earaches associated with jaw pain

What Causes TMJ Disorder:

Researchers are just starting to get a clearer picture of what causes TMJ disorder, however, some causes include:

  • Dental bite problems like repetitive grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw (Bruxism)
  • Trauma to the jaw (like being punched in the jaw)
  • Osteo or Rheumatoid Arthritis in the jaw
  • An infection or other medical condition located in the jaw

What Is Involved in TMJ Treatment?

Sometimes nothing more than physical therapy, muscle relaxation, or other easy treatments are required. In other instances, an oral appliance (also known as a bite plate or a stabilization splint) is created to fit your jaw and to help keep it stable while you sleep. Botox has also been used as a treatment for relaxing muscles associated with TMJ disorder.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call Dr. Norden and make an appointment today.