Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ), the joint where the mandible (the lower jaw) joins the temporal bone of the skull, immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. A small disc of cartilage separates the bones, much like in the knee joint. This disc allows the mandible to slide easily; every time you chew, talk, yawn, or even swallow the mandible moves. It is, therefore, one of the most frequently used of all joints of the body and one of the most complex.
Over 10 million people suffer from TMJ Disorder. This large group includes people of all ages - pre-teens, teens, young adults, the middle aged and seniors. The words "TMJ Disorder" are often a catch-all term used to describe dysfunction of the jaw muscles and joints. It can be as minor as slight clicking or popping sensations when the mouth is opened and closed, or as serious as persistent pain extending into the face, neck and shoulders affecting posture and even mobility.
What is TMD?
TMD disorder is a living nightmare for an estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from this distress. And the fact that many TMJ dentists and physicians fail to diagnose temporomandibular joint disorder disorder means that people are suffering needlessly and spending money on office visits and drugs that give them no relief. But there is hope when TMJ is diagnosed correctly. Symptoms include head, neck, and back aches. You may also have earaches, bouts of deafness, or ringing in your ears. You may hear clicking and popping when you chew. You can win this battle with TMJ Dentistry.
Malocclusion Of The Mouth
The term malocclusion literally means "bad bite." It is a generalized term that refers to many different types of mal-relationships of the lower teeth to the upper teeth. In popular usage, any arrangement of the teeth that is at variance with a prescribed ideal is considered to be a malocclusion. But that is an oversimplification because some occlusions that appear to be ideal may be in disharmony with the jaw joints (the TMJs). Such disharmony can be a source of many different problems with the teeth, the TMJ, or the jaw muscles. Even minute disharmonies of the bite can be a major factor in loosening the teeth, wearing away of the enamel, or fracturing off cusps.
Dr. Lockhart is experienced in these disorders and ready to discuss your individual symptoms and treatment if necessary.
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