Causes & Symptoms of TMJ / TMD

Causes & Symptoms of TMJ / TMD

Symptoms of TMJ / TMDDo you suffer from chronic jaw, facial, or neck discomfort? Or do you have severe, recurring headaches? In some cases, this discomfort is from Temporomandibular Disorder, also known as TMJ/TMD in the medical field.

TMJ is an acronym for an individual’s Temporomandibular Joint. TMD or Temporomandibular Dysfunction is the abbreviation for the jaw joint’s problems. You may hear these two terms interchangeably among patients and medical and dental professionals.

Sometimes forces from tooth grinding and clenching at night put abnormal damaging forces on the muscles, teeth, gums, and jaw joints (TMJ). Nighttime tooth grinding is prevalent and most often inherited from our parents. This muscle activity starts as young as five years of age. Over time, the increased muscle activity leads to tooth wear, muscle tension headaches, migraine headaches, clicking or popping of the TMJ, and gum recession. It is also common to experience ear symptoms such as ringing or fullness. Many TMD patients seek help from their ENT doctors, only to find that the ears are issue-free. The problem is a TMD issue. Dr. Ernest Mantini provides personalized consultations for patients to determine the best course of treatment.

Types Of TMJ Problems

TMJ disorders typically drop into one of three categories:

  • Myogenous TMJ issues are the most common type of TMD and account for over 80% of the total cases. Myogenous TMJ disorders involve muscle-related pain and turn into discomfort in the jaw, neck, temple, or shoulder muscles, especially upon waking. This type of TMJ issue responds well to nightguards that control the clenching. Nightguards that solely treat grinding are typically much less effective (this is the type found in drugstores).
  • TMJ disorders can also consist of jaw joint-generated pain. This discomfort results from internal derangement of the TMJ. It can include a dislocated jaw, displaced disc, or injury to the condyles.
  • Another type of TMJ issue involves degenerative joint disease, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Ernest Mantini can treat most TMJ problems. However, some internal derangements and degenerative joint diseases may require additional attention from a physician. Dr. Mantini will provide you with a personalized consultation to determine the best course of treatment.

Some Causes of TMJ And the Link to Stress

TMJ problems, in some circumstances, are caused by a blow to the face or arthritis of the jaw joint. More commonly, TMJ pain is related to genetic predisposition and stress level. TMD tends to be more abundant in high-stress professions and is more likely to arise when the individual is experiencing a higher level of stress. This stress sometimes leads to teeth grinding and clenching and the associated head, neck, and shoulder pain.

In a small percentage of cases, TMJ appears to have arisen due to a problem with the patient’s bite or occlusion. These cases could result from the teeth growing into a less than optimal position or due to braces or orthodontics.

TMJ Problems in Women Vs. Men

TMJ pain is roughly four times more common in women than in men. In addition, women tend to report more TMD symptoms and often have associated headaches and jaw clenching problems. Conversely, men report less pain and discomfort, but teeth grinding is much more likely in men than women.

Diagnosis Of TMJ

TMJ problems are typically diagnosed through a detailed examination by a TMJ dentist at a specialized facility like Ernest J. Mantini, DMD & Rocco Mantini, DMD. An experienced TMJ dentist will look for evidence of TMD on the teeth, mouth, gums, tongue, head, shoulders, and neck to determine the level of tenderness. Dr. Ernest Mantini may also measure the lower jaw’s range of motion, conduct a scan of the jaw joints using joint vibration analysis or JVA, and perform diagnostic imaging.

Schedule A Consultation with Dr. Ernest Mantini Today!

Contact Ernest J. Mantini, DMD & Rocco Mantini, DMD at (814) 479-4525 (Davidsville) or (814) 536-4804 (Johnstown) to schedule a personalized consultation at one of our dental offices. Dr. Ernest Mantini has successfully treated patients for TMJ / TMD from Davidsville, Johnstown, Somerset, Portage, Ebensburg, PA, and many surrounding areas.

Ernest J. Mantini, DMD & Rocco M. Mantini, DMD

Davidsville Dental Office:

316 N Main St
Davidsville, PA 15928
Phone: (814) 479-4525

Johnstown Dental Office:

571 Cypress Ave
Johnstown, PA 15902
Phone: (814) 536-4804

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