TMJ - Are Your Teeth a Pain in the Neck?
If you suffer from severe headaches, neck pain, dizziness, jaw pain and intermittent ringing in your ears, it could actually be caused by a dental condition! Tempro-Madibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) is characterized by a tendency to grind your teeth, especially at night, and during times of prolonged stress.
What Causes TMJ?
The most common cause of TMJ is a misalignment of the teeth, which is often referred to as “bad bite.” An injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage can also be a cause.
How is It Treated?
Fortunately, it is possible for your dentist to adjust or realign your teeth without having to resort to expensive or painful surgery. The first stage will be the immediate treatment of the pain associated with TMJ, whereafter your dentist will then conduct a thorough examination of your jaw – including x-rays and an analysis of your bite - to determine the exact cause of the TMJ, and decide on the best course of treatement.
There are two main options available:
In Option 1, treatment can comprise one, or a combination, of the following:
- A specially-molded bite guard to stop teeth grinding in the night
- An analysis of your bite relationship
- Prescription of muscle relaxants
In Option 2, your dentist will actually change the shape of – or realign - your teeth in order to get rid of the bad bite. This involves adjusting the way your upper teeth come together with your lower teeth. This is not a painful procedure, and may have the added benefit of improving the aesthetic appearance of your teeth as well as curing the TMJ.