What is a TMJ (Occlusion/Temporomandibular) Disorder?
TMJ disorder is a chronic condition affecting the temporomandibular joint, jaw muscles and nerves. The chronic nature of the condition and symptoms most often yields diagnosis of TMJ disorder because sufferers are forced into seeking medical assistance. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, TMJ treatment options may be discussed.
Although pain is the most common TMJ symptom, it is not always experienced. Some of the other common symptoms include jaw popping or clicking (when opening/closing your mouth), facial swelling, bite changes/irregularities (malocclusion), tooth sensitivity, headaches (tension headaches or early morning headaches), and earaches.
- Malocclusions can contribute to or cause many problems, including thermal sensitivity, recession of the gums, erosion of the teeth at the gumline, wear on the teeth, headaches, and temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) noise and/or pain.
- Dr. Evans has particular expertise in this area as well as a great deal of focused education and experience. Treatment is sometimes relatively simple, sometimes very complex.
- Diagnosis is always a challenge, requiring as a minimum a joint/muscle exam and accurately mounted study casts of your teeth.
- Treatment most often starts with an occlusal splint, a reversible appliance that not only provides significant relief in most cases, but helps confirm the accuracy of the diagnosis.
- Definitive treatment can vary from an occlusal equilibration (bite adjustment) to orthognathic surgery, depending upon the severity of the malocclusion.