What is TMJ?
If you look up TMJ on Google, a huge range of definitions will pop up, not just one. This is rightly so as TMJ is a broadly used term to describe symptoms from migraines, headaches, facial pain, jaw pain, and even clicking and popping. It has also been called TMD, and TMJD. The implications of TMJ are wide ranging and can even have TMJ related sleep apnea and snoring. Not all cases are or should be treated the same and a correct diagnosis Is necessary before treatment. Too many times, nighttime appliances are used that can make issues worse. It is so important that people understand TMJ issues are not just jaw related. TMJ problems can also arise from overbites and underbites as well.
Dr Konig explains, “Most TMJ cases can be treated non-surgically and conservatively. Not all cases are the same and should not be treated the same”.
When evaluating for TMJ pain and related issues, a comprehensive evaluation should include postural exam, airway assessment, and a 3D scan to further evaluate. Many do not realize that mouth breathing is a serious cause of bite related issues.
Generally speaking, we can divide TMJ Symptoms into 3 Main Categories:
- Myofascial Pain
- Internal Derangement of the Joint
- Degenerative Joint Disease
What differentiates these categories?
Myofascial pain: usually involves discomfort and pain in the muscles that control the jaw movements, and function as well as clenching and nighttime grinding. The pain often shows as:
-facial pain, jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain
-headaches, neck aches
Internal Derangement: this is damage in the joint and are structural changes as opposed to muscle issues. This can include clicking and popping of the joint, displaced disc, displaced jaws, or even trauma to the joint. Patients often feel:
-bad or misaligned bite, uncomfortable bite
-poor teeth relationships to each other (no home for your bite)
-noises in the joint
Degenerative Joint Disease: this is degeneration of the actual joint, the joint has worn and changed shape or resorbed. This can also lead to facial asymmetry. Symptoms are often a result of improper alignment of the jaw which leads to inflammatory diseases of joint.
TMJ manifests itself in many ways and a wide range of symptoms. They can be mixed and even involve the ears, posture, and facial changes. Some have pain, some have noises. Many have no clue that TMJ is where their pain is coming from.
Dr. Konig has spent years learning and treating non-surgical ways to treat and care for patients with these TMJ disorders and offers a wide range of options for conservatively treating these disorders without surgical intervention. These are often more predictable as well as include treatment of overbites and underbites. If you have any questions regarding Houston TMJ Treatment, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289