Temporomandibular Disorder at your Calgary & Canmore Orthodontist
Have you been diagnosed with TMD or have TMJ issues? You may not know that an orthodontist can help with your TMD symptoms. Ask our orthodontists in Calgary & Canmore for a treatment plan to help your pain.
What Causes TMD and TMJ Problems?
Here’s the latest from our orthodontist office: the cause of TMD is often very simple; it is all about muscles protecting teeth.
In a person with a poor bite, closing the teeth with the jaw joint seated properly in its socket would cause trauma to the teeth, making them hurt.
There is neural feedback from those teeth, which sets up a subconscious reflex that triggers the muscles that move the jaw to AVOID hurting the teeth; the jaw position adjusts to more evenly distribute the forces amongst many teeth, not just a few.
This act of dislocation is what causes all of the symptoms that the patient experiences.
TMD & TMJ Symptoms
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) is a term that includes a variety of possible symptoms that may or may not be present in an individual:
- jaw and facial pain
- jaw joint pain, locking, restricted movement
- degenerative changes in the jaw joint
- ear symptoms: pain, fullness, ringing, dizziness
- headaches, neck aches
- clenching and/or grinding of teeth, with associated wear, tooth breakage, bone loss, receding gums, lost teeth
How Can An Orthodontist Help With TMD and TMJ Problems?
At our Calgary & Canmore orthodontic office, treatment of TMD is a 2-step process:
Special bite splints are used to even out the bite and break up the protective reflex, allowing the muscles to relax and the jaw joint to seat itself properly in its socket. This can take several months in some cases.
Once the jaw joints are in their healthy position, one can see what the bite problem is — and correct it. The type of correction really just depends on how bad the bite is and can range anywhere from simple bite adjustment by reshaping teeth to orthodontic treatment and corrective bite surgery.
Some patients come with other chronic pain conditions along with TMD. Fortunately, we have other specialized professionals that we work with that can help with other areas of the body that we don’t work on directly, such as chiropractors and physiotherapists.