Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, otherwise known as TMD or TMJ, is a condition that develops when the temporomandibular joint comes out of alignment.
The temporomandibular joint is the joint on either side of your head that connects your lower jaw to your skull. Different nerves, muscles, and other tissue surround this joint, and it allows your jaw to move forward, backward, up, down, and side-to-side. When this joint comes out of alignment, it causes painful symptoms to arise. These misalignments and the symptoms it produces are referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). Neuromuscular dentistry treats this condition.
For some people, their temporomandibular joint has never been in the correct position, for others, it has come out of alignment as a result of a traumatic experience, poor dental procedures, or a bad bite (malocclusion). When the temporomandibular joint comes out of alignment, it puts excess stress on all the nerves and muscles surrounding the joint, causing them to strain even when you think your jaw is at rest.
TMD causes many different symptoms, including:
- Grinding Teeth
- Clenching Teeth
- Chipped, Cracked, Worn, or Broken Teeth (evidence of nighttime grinding or clenching)
- Neck Pain
- Ringing Ears (tinnitus)
- Jaw Pain
- Facial Pain
Neuromuscular dentistry is unique in that it is involved in all aspects of dentistry, making sure that your restorations or cosmetic dentistry procedures do not conflict with your bite or produce TMJ symptoms.