TMJ and Facial Pain
What is TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the complex joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull and helps to make the movements necessary for talking and eating.
The joint is located on either side of your face, right in front of your ears, and is composed of hinge-like and sliding mechanisms. This condition is also referred to as temporomandibular disorder or TMD.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) affects millions of people just like you. It is frequently misdiagnosed or under diagnosed, and we have too often heard, “why hasn’t any other doctor figured this out or told me this?”
We have helped hundreds of people overcome debilitating headaches, jaw joint pain, tinnitus and jaw movement problems.
Causes of TMJ Pain
The temporomandibular joint is actually one of the most complicated in the body. For this reason, you can easily injure or inflame the TM joints due to complex movements. Often, it’s a combination of things that lead to chronic symptoms. TMJ pain affects women more often than men, and the symptoms most commonly begin between the ages of 20-40. This facial pain can be occasional, or constant, and it can worsen over time if left untreated.
Trauma to the jaw
Overuse, or chronic biting, clenching, or grinding (bruxism)
Improper bite position
Frequent heavy lifting
What is TMJ and how do you know you have it?
Watch this video to learn more about TMJ and treatment solutions.
TMJ - Symptoms look like...
Pain in your jaw muscles and surrounding areas
Pain in front of your ears and facial muscles
Difficulty or discomfort while chewing or yawning
Locking jaw joints
Neck and shoulder aches
Facial pain or swelling
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Jaw Fullness/ underwater feeling in your ears
Jaw muscle stiffness
Grinding, or clicking sounds opening and closing your mouth
Symptoms you may suffer with:
TMJ - Diagnosis and Treatment
If you are you among the 15 percent of Americans who suffer from some type of chronic facial or jaw pain you need a TMJ specialist. TMJ disorders present differently in each patient.
It’s important to have a dental professional trained in neuromuscular dentistry to perform a comprehensive exam to rule out other health issues that could be contributing to or causing your symptoms.
Neuromuscular Dentistry for TMJ is the art and science of using the relaxed position of the muscles of the head and neck to place the jaw into an optimal physiologic position for treatment.
Twenty-five years of research and clinical experience have shown this technique to be effective in treating patients with various levels of head and neck pain. State-of-the-art technology and unparalleled professional education and experience combine to give you the optimum TMJ treatment imaginable.
Your comprehensive exam will allow Dr. Snyder to find the most beneficial solution. Through jaw tracking, EMG measuring, sonography and TENSing we are able to learn where the joint is having issues. With orthotics (bite splints) or orthodontic appliances we can allow the jaw to stabilize in a muscle-happy position which in turn reduces pain.
As a conscientious and progressive TMJ specialist, Dr. Snyder will take your medical history and listen to anything about how your pain and discomfort affect you. Use of our CBCT scans (a low dose CAT scan), and K7 technology will create clarity around what is causing your pain allowing her to design the very best treatment plan for your individual needs.
Most patients begin feeling better within a few visits, and we look forward to the stories of healing as they begin to live pain-free once again.
Do you have a TMJ Disorder?
Let's find out and begin with the TMJ - Quiz below.
If you have four or more yes answers in the quiz and your life is impacted all to frequently by pain and discomfort, call or click to schedule an appointment with Dr Snyder.
During your first in office visit you will receive a comprehensive exam and we will take a CBCT scan (a low dose CAT scan) of your head and neck to evaluate your anatomy and your airway. We will then discuss the results and explore treatment options together.
Pretty simple, just a few steps to a healthier life!
It was just this huge emotional release because I found somebody who was really going to be able to help me!
TMJ Patient - Brooke
“Dr. Snyder made molds of my mouth for an appliance, sent it to my house and she couldn’t have made it any easier.”
TMJ Patient - Brooke
No two TMJ patients are alike, symptoms and severity vary greatly from person to person.
Physical therapy exercises to improve jaw motion
Moist heat to relax muscles
Orthotics (bite splints) to align your bite
If your diagnosis requires you to see additional therapists we will refer you to trusted clinicians that understand the type of treatment received in our office.
Luckily, surgical treatment is rarely necessary to relieve pain and discomfort.