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Maribel Vann, DDS
Are You Suffering From TMJ Pain? Are You Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth?
. http://drmaribelvann.com/

Are You Suffering From TMJ Pain? Are You Clenching and Grinding Your Teeth?

Patients who suffer from popping, clicking, crunching noises, lock jaw and difficulty opening the mouth wide are usually experiencing temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder). While it may seem like the problem comes from a variety of sources, in many cases the real problem is a misaligned upper and lower jaw.

As you can see in photograph A, the upper midline is deviated to the right, while the lower is deviated to the left. You might think that the teeth are the problem because the upper and lower midlines do not coincide. The patient was also experiencing neck and back pain which might lead someone to think the problem was somewhere else besides the jaws.

However, that was not the case with this patient. The real problem was a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws. As a result of misaligned jaws patients may experience symptoms in any number of areas, including the neck, head, jaws, gums, teeth and even the lower back and legs. This particular patient was suffering from chronic neck pain and pain in the left TMJ.

This patient was also clenching, and is now wearing a bite guard. The photograph below shows the severe wear on her lower front teeth.

After a thorough examination and history, this patient was diagnosed with a “side bend” problem. The definition of a side bend is the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) are aligned in opposite directions. This can cause numerous painful symptoms as described above.

To successfully correct this problem, the upper jaw had to be moved towards the left and the lower jaw had to be moved towards the right.

The Advanced Lightwire Functional (ALF) appliance helps to align the jaws and successfully treat this problem for this patient.

It is common to think pain you may experience in and around your face, head and neck is not being caused by your jaws. People who have back and leg pain are also not likely to think it could be coming from their jaws.

When you experience these types of pain symptoms, it very well could be your jaws, clenching and grinding your teeth, and TMJ disorder. You should see a dentist who specializes in treating patients with TMJ disorders.

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