Temporomandibular Disorders and Craniofacial Pain have gained increased interest in dental profession as an evolving discipline. Etiology, pathogenesis and management protocols are developed to address the plethora of diseases and disorders that affect the head and neck regions.
These terms are often used inter-changebly, although true temporomandibular joint disorder is more specifically related to the problems of the joints whereas Craniofacial pain disorders include those disorders of the dental structures, jaws, oral, craniofacial and neck regions. Craniofacial pain disorders thus are broad classification which include temporomandibular disorders as well as disorders that affect the neuromuscular and associated systems.
It is estimated that 10% of the population suffer from TMD problems. Women are most affected, but men and children can also suffer from this disorder. TMD is often a chronic and requently degenerative disease. The sooner TMD is accurately diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
Signs and Symptoms
Below are signs and symptoms usually found in patients who have TMD. Some patients might have many of these signs and symptoms, other will suffer with only a few of these conditions.
HEAD PAIN, HEADACHE
- Radiating pain up back of head
- Hair and/or scalp painful to touch
- Hissing, buzzing or ringing
- Decreased hearing
- Ear pain, earache with no infection
- Clogged “itchy” ears
- Vertigo, dizziness
- Lack of mobility, stiffness
- Shoulder and back aches
- Arm and finger numbness or pain
- Clicking, popping jaw joints
- Grating sounds
- Pain in cheek muscles
- Pain behind the eye
- Redness of the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Throat ache
- Frequent coughing or scrapy throat
- Clenching, grinding at night
- Looseness and soreness of back teeth
- Excessive wear of teeth, frequent fracture of teeth or fillings
- Limited opening
- Inability to open smoothly
- Jaw deviates to one side when open
Factors that can lead to TMD
- Trauma (car accident, sport injury)
- Improper occlusion
- Inflammation of your joint
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Neuromuscular imbalance
- Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative osteoarthritis
- Family history
- Diet and nutrition
- Psychological factors (stress, nervous habits)
- Sleep disorders
Treatment of craniofacial pain at our clinic
Once all diagnostic information is collected, we will determine the best course of treatment for you. We employ proven effective therapies that can help you control your pain, regain proper jaw joint function and improve your over all health and quality of life. For each patient, we develop an personalized treatment plan which will address his or her clinical needs. A typical treatment involves the following objectives: Relieve muscle spasm and pain, stabilize the bite and TMJ complex and long-term management.
Consulting with us for undiagnosed head, neck, facial pain, jaw malposition or TMJ arthritis. With modern diagnostic technologies and proven treatment protocols, many of our patients experience relief of their symptoms shortly after the start of the treatment. In addition, more than 95% of the patients can be treated successfully with conservative therapy without the need of any surgical procedure or prolonged drug therapy.