Taking care of yourself is more than a luxury
Do you worry that you’re suffering from TMJ Disorder but have difficulty identifying your symptoms? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are actually many TMJ symptoms but, unfortunately, the nature of the disorder means that many of the symptoms are often linked to other problems. For instance, TM Disorder can cause severe headaches, that are often diagnosed as migraines. TMJ sufferers then get treatment for migraines but find that treatment doesn’t really help and just suffer in silence. If your headaches are caused by migraines you CAN get treatment and relief from pain. It all starts with a misalignment of one of the temporo-mandibular joints. When this happens the soft tissues get jammed and this causes pain, this can actually cause the other joint to be in the wrong position! Unfortunately, to keep the soft tissues from being jammed the muscles have to work constantly. The muscles are not meant to deal with this constant strain and become fatigues, then begin spasming and then you will feel significant pain.
Do you have any of these symptoms:
Grinding your teeth
Episodes of dizziness or vertigo
Clinking when opening your jaw
Difficulty opening your jaw
Watch yourself in a mirror, slowly open and then close and watch the path the jaw takes. It should open pretty straight, and if it does not, it should fit into one of these two categories:
The difference between deviation and deflection is represented by the deviated joint returns to center and the deflected TMJ stays to one side.
If you have a deflection of your TMJ, there may be a partially closed lock because the disc is caught in front of the condyle (joint head) and it is preventing the jaw from opening straight. If you have a deviation, this means that the disc gets caught momentarily, and then releases (usually heard as a click if it is severe) and then your jaw continues to open straight.
If you suffer with headaches, migraines, Sore jaw from grinding your teeth, insomnia, episodes of dizziness or vertigo, clinking or popping when opening your jaw, difficulty opening your jaw (or cannot do the three finger test) and have difficulty hearing your symptoms may be related to TMJD. Do not suffer in silence and do not wait to seek treatment. Even if you have been unsuccessfully treated for TMJ in the past do not let it discourage you, it is possible to get relief from your unpleasant symptoms. TMJ treatment is not an instantaneous cure and can take devotion on the parts of patient, massage therapist and dentist alike. Remember taking care of yourself is more than a luxury.