You may not have realized it before, but you have little triangular-shaped joints located in front of your ears. Lined with cartilage, these joints move with a smooth, gliding motion. Although they are small, these joints have a big job to do. They join your lower jaw and temporal bone, allowing your mouth to open and close easily.
Although these joints are incredibly strong, they can be thrown out of alignment very easily. The temporomandibular joint is highly sensitive to overall physical, emotional, and psychological stress, and the slightest change can temporarily knock the whole system out of balance. The resulting condition is TMJ disorder, which can create a variety of symptoms, from jaw clicking and minor discomfort to sharp pain in your head, ears, neck, and shoulders.
This condition is extremely common among American adults. That’s why I evaluate you for TMJ dysfunction every time you come in for an appointment at Lake Orion Family Dentistry. If a problem is detected, it is my goal to isolate the problem to protect your teeth from further damage, as well as correct underlying bite misalignment.
I may begin by fitting you with a physiologic bite appliance, suggesting ways to alleviate stress, and recommending symptom relief tactics. As a general rule of thumb, TMJ patients should avoid chewing gum or hard, chewy food, take small bites when eating, and alternate chewing between both sides of the mouth. Good nutrition and good posture will also help to relieve discomfort.
I’m Dr. Brad Greenfield, and I know how painful and debilitating TMJ disorder can be. That’s why I’m here to help you overcome the pain and reclaim your life. If you’re ready for relief, don’t hesitate to call my office in Lake Orion, Michigan to schedule an appointment.