Essentially, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) fixes the lower jaw to the upper jaw. Each person has two temporomandibular joints, one below each ear Unlike other joints in the body, the TMJs have a wide range of motion, including rotational and transitional movements. Surrounding each joint are nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These work with the joint to open and close the mouth so that we can talk, chew, bite, gulp, swallow, and perform other mouth motions.
Why Is TMD a Problem?
If your TMJ joints are misaligned you can suffer a wide range of problems with oral function. TMJ disorder, or TMD, creates a ripple effect through the body. When dysfunction is present, the TMJs do not align properly. As a result, your muscles, ligaments, and tendons,
attempt to correct the misalignment. Dysfunction creates stress on muscles, confusion for nerve impulses, and a hostile environment for your teeth. Many patients with TMJ disorder experience noticeable tooth wear. Why? Because properly shaped molars keep our jaws in correct position, so worn down molars have a negative impact on TMJ position. When molars are worn down, the TMJs become misaligned.
Overworked jaw muscles can twitch and contract, often while a person sleeps, and cause molars to scrape, grind, and gnash against each other. Over time, these destructive motions become habitual, and the resulting condition is known as bruxism. Pressure from grinding, gnashing, clenching, and scraping teeth can create small cracks in tooth enamel. This makes patients susceptible to fractures, chips, and internal damage of the teeth.
If you believe you have TMJ disorder, contact Dr. Askari at (248) 566-6490 to schedule an appointment at Comfort Dental Spa. Dr. Askari is committed to providing comprehensive care to her patients. Our staff serves residents of Farmington Hills,Southfield, Northfield, Livonia, Dearborn, and the surrounding Detroit communities.