TMJ Disorders are mild to severely debilitating discomfort in the face and jaw and even neck, shoulders and back related to dysfunction of the working together of the upper and lower jaws. People often run into a hard time getting a diagnosis, and an even harder time getting treatment and relief.
In addition, malocclusion or dental occlusion is when the biting surfaces of the teeth do not properly fit together. The way teeth grow out of the jaw is influenced by a number of factors, as genetics, shape of the jaw, and certain environmental conditions can lead to uneven variations in biting surface. Other habits like grinding or clenching teeth apply excessive damaging loads to the teeth and dental implants (if present). It can be particularly harmful to restorations like cosmetic veneers. If left untreated these variations in jaw structure can eventually cause problems with biting, gum health, speech development, and the ability to maintain proper oral hygiene.
Symptoms of malocclusion include:
- Excessive clenching and grinding of your teeth
- Stiff or tender jaw especially in the morning
- Severe headaches and stiff neck and shoulder
- Difficulty and pain when moving your jaw
The management of TMJ varies, simple self-help remedies like heat and cold packs, limit jaw movement and soft diet do not treat TMJ long-term, temporary relief may be found.
It involves many folds including the use of medications, bite correction and dental appliances / bite guard. Such appliances may also help improve your bite and the ability for the lower jaw to fall properly into the temporomandibular joint socket.