top of page

TEMPORO-MANDIBULAR JOINT (TMJ) DISORDERS / CRANIO-MANDIBULAR DISORDERS (TMD) & LASER

Temporo-Mandibular Disorders consist of a group of pathologies affecting the masticatory muscles, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and related structures.

Myoarthropathy (MAP) of the masticatory system represents a subgroup of cranio-mandibular disorders (TMD) that presents complaints and findings of the masticatory muscles, jaw joints and associated tissue structures.

 

The occlusion has an important function in our masticatory system. If the occlusion is influenced and altered by simple restorative procedures (such as composite fillings, ceramic fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.) the patient has the feeling that the teeth no longer properly fit together properly. Our masticatory system immediately recognises such occlusion disorders and tries to adapt or compensate accordingly by unconsciously adopting a new “bite position”, through slight displacements in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and / or one-sided relieving postures, which in turn can lead to tension and overloading of the structures involved.

 

Jaw problems usually hide malpositions of the jaw joints:

  • A misaligned bite (occlusion) causes chronic tension and pain in the muscles around the jaw.

  • The cartilage in the jaw deforms and shifts over time.

  • If the cartilage deteriorates, the jawbone grinds against the skull

 

The variety of complaints range from:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw joint

  • Restricted jaw opening

  • Clicking or rubbing of the jaws joints when opening or closing the jaw

  • Headaches

  • Tinnitus

  • Tension in the masticatory muscles

  • Locking of the joint

  • Aching pain in around your ear

  • Aching pain which radiates down the neck, shoulders, back and rest of the body

 

The jaw is a high-performance athlete in our body. He is in action 24/7 and always on duty: laughing, speaking, biting, chewing, swallowing - and many times during the night: grinding (bruxism).

As long as the entire system, consisting of jawbones, muscles and teeth is healthy and functioning, the jaw joints work smoothly and free of pain. When these functions are disturbed, this is referred to as cranio-mandibular disorder (TMD).

TMJ disorders cohere with dental causes, such as tooth grinding (bruxism) or clenching, which can cause difficulty of chewing, clicking and locking of the jaw and / or deviation when opening / closing the jaw as symptoms.

TMJ disorder (TMD) can be relieved by:

  • Custom mouthguards / occlusal splint therapy (Michigan splint): prevents you from damaging your teeth while grinding (bruxism) or clenching during sleep.

  • Orthodontics: can adjust the jaws and allow the teeth to meet properly in a right occlusion.

  • Prosthetics: Dental crowns can restore a balanced bite (occlusion).

  • Reshaping teeth: by reshaping certain teeth, better balance and relaxation of the TMJ’s can be achieved.

  • Medications: pain relievers or anti-inflammatories to ease comfort, or muscle relaxants to reduce spasms.

  • Surgery: in severe cases, only as a last resort, surgery can repair the temporomandibular joints.

 

LASER application for TMD:

  • Pain-Relieving (mild pain)

  • Muscle relaxing (temporarily)

 

TMD can significantly affect your quality of life by causing severe and persistent discomfort. Those suffering from TMD often do not realise that a dentist can provide significant relief through treatment that helps to properly align your jaw. If you suffer from jaw or facial pain, headaches or unexplained tingling in your extremities, schedule an exam today, with us, at the Zahnarztpraxis Uetikon am See.

With the right diagnosis, treatment can have a life-changing impact.                       

bottom of page