Everyone experiences occasional headaches, shoulder pain, or sore neck. Most of the time we can dismiss the cause as nothing more than stress or our busy lives, but, when pain becomes a daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, there could be something more going on.
If you are suffering from undiagnosed, chronic pain, TMJ may be the reason. But what is TMJ, and why does it cause pain?
TMJ is a complex disorder. Effective treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis.
If you would like to find out if TMJ is at the root of your chronic pain, take our TMJ questionnaire or, better yet, come in for a consultation.
TMJ is an abbreviated term for the temporomandibular joint also known as your jaw joint. Other abbreviations; TMD for Temporomandibular Disorder and TMJD for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, are also accepted and used interchangeably to refer to the pain, disorder or dysfunction of this joint and other affected areas surrounding it.
Like all of the wonderfully complex parts of our bodies, the temporomandibular joint is designed for smooth, continuous and pain-free operation. These two essential joints work in unison to allow you to bite, speak chew, yawn, and talk.
In fact, for your jaw to do everything you need it to, it must be able to open close, move forward and back and from side to side.
The bones of your joints do not work alone. To move, each of your ball and socket jaw joints are cushioned by a disc and surrounded by the muscles, ligaments and nerves that make them work.
What causes jaw problems?
While TMJ causes are not always clear, they are often be related to specific events or life changes, including:
- uneven dentistry
- direct injury to the temporomandibular joint
- ongoing stress resulting in bruxism and clenching of the jaw
- shifting or missing teeth
- a misaligned jaw or underdeveloped jaw due to genetics or childhood breathing problems
- sleep disorders, especially sleep disordered breathing
What can I do?
We can consult on TMD and Myofascial pain and provide customized treatment & exercises to help with long-term relief
Some options are:
- Red Light Therapy