The letters TMJ are short for "temporo-mandibular joint", which is the joint connecting your lower jaw to the skull, the movement of this joint allows you to open, close, and chew from side to side. Pain in the jaw can be excruciating and debilitating. The TMJ may become dysfunctional, resulting in symptoms such as pain, clicking, locking, and limited opening of the jaws, culminating in a severe arthritis of the joint. The stability of the TMJ is affected by factors such as stress, and the position of the teeth when they are engaged.
At iDental, we are experienced in treating the effects of TMJ disorders. Once a correct diagnosis is made from presenting symptoms, dietary advice, muscle exercises, and splint therapy can be used to mutually protect the occlusion and relieve pressure on the jaw joint.
A common dental cause of TMJ disorder is the loss of back teeth, which reduces support for the jaw on closure and joint activity. In addition, the remaining teeth procure a greater level of strain. Re-institution of a complete and balanced occlusion is therefore very important, and can be carried out through advanced restorative techniques, and the provision of dental implants. This can end up a lengthy and costly process, thus retention of teeth is extremely advantageous.
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