The Temporomandibular Joint, or jaw joint, allows you to open and close your mouth, speak, swallow and chew food. Dysfunction of the joint may result in symptoms like clicking and popping sounds, headaches, neck and facial pain, locking of the jaw and ringing in the ears.
The TM joints are part of a large group of muscles, ligaments and bones that work together as a system. Because of this complex system a problem in one area can cause symptoms elsewhere. Many things can trigger TMJ disorder, such as trauma to the face, whiplash, bad posture, an uneven bite (malocclusion) where the teeth are not being able to properly support the jaw. This can occur from missing teeth, misaligned teeth, or back teeth that are too short.
When this condition is prolonged, the body begins to compensate by involving muscles in other areas such as the neck, throat, and upper and lower back, arms, etc.
If you suffer from head, neck, or facial pain, Dr. First can help to relieve symptoms and restore optimum function. Dental treatment involving the use of splints, bite plates or functional appliances can be used to reposition the lower jaw. Dr. First is experienced and qualified to treat TMJ disorders.
If you or someone you know has chronic headaches, neck and shoulder stiffness, ringing in the ears or even dizziness, speak with Dr. First or any one of our team members.