The small joints that connect your jaw to your skull could be causing your chronic headaches, migraines, earaches, and other painful symptoms. The joints are called temporomandibular joints because they hold the mandible to the temporal bones of the skull. A complex network of nerves and muscles surround the joints and allow motion of the mouth. Stress, certain habits, injuries, and heredity are factors that contribute to misalignment of the joints. Clenching and grinding teeth, as well as malocclusion, may also cause the TMJ joints to be misaligned.
When jaw joints don’t sit in proper position, associated muscles work overtime to make the jaw work properly. Nerves react and send confused pain signals to the brain. That’s why TMJ disorder can cause symptoms ranging from migraines to tingling fingers and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. Some believe that carpel tunnel syndrome can be associated with TMJ disorder, as well.
Fortunately, in some cases, repositioning the jaw joints is possible through non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical oral splint therapy. Dr. DeFinnis offers oral splints to relieve the nagging symptoms of TMJ disorder and to eliminate nighttime clenching and grinding (bruxism). Other treatment options include rebuilding proper occlusion with dental restorations, crowns, on worn back teeth. Physical therapy and habit changes may also help.
Don’t live with TMJ pain. Call Wynnewood Dental Arts to schedule your TMJ consultation with Dr. Thomas DeFinnis.