Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ/TMD)
- Click here to read our illustrated TMJ brochure(PDF)
- Click here to read about our TMJ Workup policy(PDF)
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints. These small hinges connect the lower jaw, or mandible, to the skull. When the joints become misaligned, a person can experience significant discomfort or pain in the head, neck, jaw, shoulders, lower back, and mouth. Earaches, tingling extremities, and migraines are common side effects of TMJ disorder. Furthermore, jaw muscles and associated nerves become stressed from holding the mandible in an unharmonious position. Fatigued jaw muscles can cause bruxism, the condition of clenching and grinding teeth. Bruxism wears down back teeth, which in turn, alters a person’s bite, or how upper and lower teeth fit together. This allows the joint to stay in improper position. Symptoms can worsen and may be accompanied by pain.
How do I know if I have TMJ disorder?
Many people experience pain, such as headaches, as well as loss of teeth, tense muscles, and other symptoms as described above. A doctor or dentist can examine the mouth and joints manually to determine if TMJs are misaligned.
How is TMJ disorder treated?
Both Dr. Angela and Dr. Riley Lunn have studied and perform TMJ or TMD therapy. Dr. Riley Lunn is the founder of the respected professional journal, CRANIO, published out of our office. As a leading expert on TMJ disorder, Dr. Lunn offers many treatment options for patients with TMJ disorder. He often uses cone beam technology to create 3D images of the cranium and mandible, which aids in accurate diagnosis. A comprehensive evaluation will reveal whether TMJ disorder is the source of your pain.
Treatment for TMJ disorder may include:
- Oral appliances that hold the jaw in proper position to relax stressed muscles and joints
- Rebuilding back teeth to restore proper bite and occlusion
- Physical therapy and habit changes
- TENS therapy (electrical stimulation to relax targeted muscles)
- Osteopathic manipulation
- Sound therapy
- Acupuncture and other nonconventional therapies