Because the alignment of the teeth and jaws are not perfect in many individuals, almost everyone can be diagnosed with some degree of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder if closely examined. However, in the majority of people, it is silent, mild and asymptomatic requiring no treatment.
In individuals experiencing noticeable symptoms such as clicking, joint or facial muscle pain, early treatment by a TMD specialist is important to prevent the progression to more complex and severe symptoms.
Many patients suffer more debilitating symptoms as chronic Tension headaches, Migraine headaches, recurrent Vertigo or dizziness, Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or stuffy ears, Facial Twitching, Facial Pain or are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. These patients are often shuffled from their primary care physician to Ear Nose and Throat specialists, Neurologists, and Psychiatrists only to be placed on a multitude of medications to help control symptoms. They are usually told that there is no cure and that it is something they will have to live with.
Unfortunately there has been a disconnect between the medical world and the world of neuromuscular craniofacial dentistry. The temporomandibular joint is the joint in front of your ears which guides the movement of the mandible (lower jaw) when you chew, swallow, and talk. It is positioned in the center of the head and therefore has a close embryologic or developmental relationship with all the muscles and nerves of the head and neck. All the nerves and muscles of the head, neck, face, ears and forehead are very closely interrelated. Damage or injury to the joint can cause a multitude of neurologic or muscular manifestations in the head, neck, and facial regions. A few simple tests can determine whether your symptoms are TMJ related and permanently correctable.