What is the TMJ? (Temporomandibular Joint)
The temporomandibular joint is the hinge between the temporal bone in the skull and the lower jaw. Each person has two in total, and each one contains blood vessels, nerves, and bones. This joint moves the jaw forward and back, and side-to-side to aid in talking, chewing, and yawning. Holistic dentistry acknowledges that if the TMJ is unhealthy, the body will produce other symptoms that are seemingly unassociated with this degenerative disease.
What is TMJ syndrome, or TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder)?
TMJ syndrome or TMD is a type of disorder that causes pain to the joint and the surrounding structures. Holistic dentistry believes that it can severely impact a person’s quality of life depending on the severity. Talking, chewing, yawning, and opening the mouth, in general, can become very difficult and painful.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD
- Face, neck, or shoulder pain when you chew, speak when opening the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or discomfort when biting
- Dizziness, earaches, or hearing loss
- Lock Jaw
- Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds in your jaw when opening or closing the mouth (with or without pain)
- Facial swelling
Holistic Dentistry’s Beliefs on Causes of TMD
- Grinding or clenching
- Stress or anxiety
- Injury to your jaw, head, or neck
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TM joints
How Holistic Dentistry can help with TMD?
- Using a holistic dentistry approach to determine and treat the cause of the TMD, such as stress or anxiety
- Nightguard to relieve pressure on teeth and joints when grinding/clenching
- Neuromuscular dentistry