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Maribel Vann, DDS
Are You Suffering From Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder?
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Are You Suffering From Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder?

The temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ) or jaw joints connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. The TMJ are used more than any other joints in the body. They allow the jaw to open and close in a wide variety of movements such as talking, chewing, swallowing, yawning and other functions. Many people have dysfunction and pain in and around the jaw joints at some point during their lives.
TMJ disorders can affect the upper and lower jaw as well as muscles in the face, ears, shoulders, head and neck. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to
1. joint pain
2. pain in the facial muscles
3. headaches
4. clicking or popping of the jaw joints
5. difficulty with fully opening the mouth
6. jaw locking
7. clenching or grinding of the teeth
8. structural problems of the upper and lower jaws
9. dizziness or vertigo
10. malocclusion (misaligned bite)
11. parafunctional habits (repetitive movements of the jaw without a purpose) such as
a. lip, tongue or cheek biting
b. clenching of the teeth
c. grinding of the teeth
d. chewing gum
e. fingernail biting
f. chewing ice
g. biting on a pen or pencil
If you are suffering from the above symptoms, you may have TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder is usually a symptom of a misaligned bite. The photograph below shows the upper diagnostic model of a patient who is suffering from a TMJ disorder. As you can see on the photograph below, the upper jaw is up to the left. The patient was treated with the advanced lightwire functional (ALF) appliances.
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