Many people know TMJ dysfunction manifests itself in many ways ranging from headaches to neckaches and even tinnitus. So how does one diagnose what TMJ is? Believe it or not one of the last things that should be looked at is the teeth! TMJ dysfunction causes strain, stress, and pain in the surrounding muscles, nerves, and tissues of the head, face, and neck. This is why it is important to look at more than just the teeth and bite.
What is a TMJ exam?
1) A thorough discussion with the patient of their concerns and issues
2) Assessment of postural issues
3) Assessment of cervical issues
4) Assessment of Airway/Mouthbreathing and or sleep issues
5) Assessment of Tongue and swallow posture along with any tongue tie issues
6) CBCT evaluation of craniocervical and bite-related issues and airway evaluation, sometimes an MRI if indicated
6) Evaluation of all craniocervical muscles and synovial joint spaces of the jaw joints
7) Finally, the teeth, gums, and bite should be evaluated
Dr. Konig explains, ” Simply looking at teeth will not diagnose why or if one has a TMJ issue. Sometimes patient’s teeth look perfect, straight, and they have had orthodontics and still have some painful TMJ problems, This could be that the teeth are in the wrong place in the face straining other body alignment which is why there are so many symptoms of TMJ”.
What are some TMJ symptoms?
*ear pain and/or ringing of the ears
*Inability to open or close all the way
So what could cause some of these symptoms? Believe it or not, the bite can change the posture and vice versa. The body needs to be aligned to function optimally. If the head and neck are out of alignment it can and does lead to other conditions. The poor posture can lead to strained neck muscles and further exacerbate a bad bite or misaligned bite.
If you have any questions regarding TMJ symptoms or Houston TMJ Pain Treatment, please feel free to call our Houston office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289.