Many people suffer from dizziness, earaches, face, head, neck, shoulder and back pain, without knowing the cause of their pain. Previously, many patients seeking medical cures for these types of problems were told it was “all in their mind” and they would go from specialist to specialist seeking a cure. Today, however, it is known that the condition termed TMJ or TMD (temporomandibular joint) syndrome accounts for a large number of these previously uncured and painful ailments. Correcting the problem rather then the symptom is at the heart of TMJ treatment. With new knowledge and technology, dentist and orthodontist are able to diagnose and treat TMJ problems which previously have been overlooked. Additionally, the medical profession is becoming more aware of dentistry’s involvement and physicians are referring patients to orthodontists knowledgeable in TMJ treatment. Dr. Bob and Dr. Ron are both board certified specialists in orthodontics and facial orthopedics.
Malocclusion and the TMJ
Your jaw joints, which hold your lower jaw in place, are suspended beneath your skull by an intricate system of muscles and tendons. The jaw joints, also known as the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), are some of the most complex in the body. The jaw joint, the surrounding muscles and the fit of your teeth are interrelated, each affecting the other as you make everyday jaw movements such as speaking and chewing. The way your teeth fit together is called occlusion. When your teeth are not in proper relationship to each other and your jaw joints, the jaw automatically shifts to a new position in an attempt to compensate for the misalignment of your teeth, a condition known as malocclusion.