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Jeffrey L. Brown, DDS
Are TMJ Problems a Real Thing?
Sleep & TMJ Therapy
. http://sleepandtmjtherapy.com/

Are TMJ Problems a Real Thing?

<strong>Are TMJ Problems a Real Thing?</strong>

For so many people, a bit of popping or clicking in the jaw joints is no big deal. They will at first tell their doctor or dentist about it. As the years go by they are told that ‘it’s nothing to worry about’ so they don’t think twice about it. Yet, TMJ disorders are now associated with many other health problems so it might be wise to actually think twice when you feel that popping and clicking in the jaw joints.

When you feel those joints popping, what is actually happening? It is the disc that covers the top of the jaw bone literally popping off the bone and into the surrounding tissue. This displacement can cause tremendous pain in some people, while the same displacement in other folks causes the feeling of  ‘no big deal’ therefore no problem. It’s the people who have the pain that need to recognize what is going on and how to deal with it. And maybe the people who do not experience the pain should at least recognize the problem and what it might become.

Some of the more obvious symptoms of TMJ (TMJ disorder) are of course clicking and popping, pain in the jaw joints, or the feeling of the joint being stuck. Other more subtle indicators of a problem are headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, breathing problems, sleep disordered breathing, and even tremors. When those little discs in the jaw joints slip off, they can wreak havoc with the entire body. Many end up visiting their neurologist for the headaches, their ENT for the ear ringing, their otolaryngologist for the swallowing problem, and yet the problem falls under ‘none of the above’ category! The real issue is that the discs in the jaw joints have slipped off- i.e. they are displaced and are quite simply pinching the nerves and blood vessels around the joint. Because there are so many nerves and vessels in that area, this ‘pinching’ effect can really cause lots of pain throughout the entire body.

It is unfortunate that most medical and dental schools put little effort into teaching TMD diagnosis and treatment. In reality, such skillsets are learned mostly through what can best be described as an apprenticeship program. Those of us who had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Brendan Stack, arguably the father of TMJ disorders, consider themselves lucky and blessed to have learned from the best.  Now, many dentists and physicians are beginning to realize the truth behind TMJ disorder concepts.

So, what does a person do when they think they have TMJ disorder? The answer is simple: Find a person, most often a dentist, who sees only TMD cases. Their training will not be limited in this area. This healthcare provider will take the time to diagnose properly and provide options.

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