How many people suffer from TMD?
It is estimated that 1 in 4 people suffer from one or more of the TMD symptoms.
Temporo Mandibular Disorders (TMD) result in numerous TMJ symptoms within the jaw, teeth, and head relating to the Temporo Mandibular joints (TMJ).
Why is a TMJ disorder so difficult to diagnose?
TMD is often called the ‘great impostor’ because these disorders have many overlapping symptoms which mimic many other medical and dental conditions.
Sadly many people suffer from these pains throughout their lives and never understand what is causing it and accept it as being normal or part of their life.
How do I know if I have TMJ dysfunction?
It is difficult to diagnose without the knowledge of how the jaw joints, muscles, bones and teeth work together, so it is important that you consult a professional rather than self-diagnose.
Island Dental are among the professional clinicians who, with proper training and diagnostic skills and using state of the art computerised techniques, are able to pinpoint the cause of these symptoms and provide relief and restoration of proper jaw function for our TMD patients.
Myofascial Pain Dysfunction (MPD)
What is TMD syndrome?
TMD syndrome or Temporo Mandibular Disorder is a group of separate but related disorders of the temporomandibular joints (the jaw joints located immediately in front of the ears) as well as the associated muscles of the jaw, face and neck and related ligaments, nerves and blood vessels.
Problems within this complex structure can produce a myriad of symptoms which at first glance, might appear to be totally unrelated.
The structures that make it possible to open and close your mouth include the facial bones, temporomandibular joints and muscles. These are very particular and must work together whenever you chew, speak or swallow.
Your teeth and especially the way your teeth fit together or ‘bite’ form part of this jaw complex. The major nerve supply is the trigeminal nerve which has three branches and is the largest of the twelve cranial nerves by far. The area of the brain that interprets information from the trigeminal nerve is called the trigeminal nucleus which also receives pain nerves from every part of the body. Yes, everything is related!
Any problem that causes an imbalance in the delicate working relationship of the jaw, skull and muscles that attach and move the jaw (as well as the nervous system associated with these systems) may result in TMJ Dysfunction (TMD).
How does TMD occur?
Your lower jaw is attached to the head and neck by numerous muscles.
If the muscles and joints do not work together correctly the muscles have to work harder, becoming overactive and consequently will tire and fatigue. Eventually, they become shorter, stiff and go into spasm producing pain, muscle tenderness, and tissue damage.
The pain makes you feel tense and uptight. This worsens the muscle spasm, which in turn increases the pain.
The cycle of TMJ Syndrome
The end result of this nasty TMJ syndrome cycle is that the balance of the head, neck, and shoulders is affected, altering the posture and function of the rest of the body.
Anatomy of TMJ
In normal TMJ anatomy, the articular disc is placed between the condyle (lower jaw) and the skull (temporal bone).