Neuromuscular Dentistry

Understanding Jaw Joint Dysfunction

Clicking in your jaw and facial pain are common signs that your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is not functioning properly. Thanks to neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Byron W. Wall can diagnose TMJ disorders and develop an effective custom treatment plan. Learn how our Albuquerque, NM dental office diagnoses and treats TMJ problems.

More people suffer from TMJ disorders than you may realize. The NIH notes that the prevalence of jaw joint issues is twice as likely in women than in men. Additionally, rates of TMD are higher among people younger in age.

Common Causes of TMJ Disorders

  • Crooked Teeth (Malocclusion) - Poorly aligned teeth often mean your bite is not optimally positioned. The poorly balanced stress on your teeth can affect the health of the TMJ over time, leading to joint dysfunction.
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) - Often linked to malocclusion and stress, bruxism is the clenching, gnashing, and grinding of the teeth. This strain on the teeth also affects facial and jaw muscles as well as the joint itself.
  • Facial Trauma and Head Injuries - Falls, accidents, and other kinds of physical trauma to the head or face can affect the alignment and normal function of the jaw joint as well as any surrounding nerves and muscle tissue.
  • Arthritis - Over time, the movement of the mouth will take its toll on the cartilage of the TMJ. This wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis, which causes swelling, tenderness, and stiffness in a joint.

The Jaw Joint

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located where the jaw meets the cranium. It is one of the most complicated joints in the body due to the many different types of movement required to bite, chew, speak, and emote. When the structures of the jaw do not function normally, this is known as a TMJ disorder, or TMD.

TMD Classifications

There are different ways to classify TMD, which helps determine approaches to treatment. Myofascial pain refers to muscle pain affecting the jaw. Internal derangement of the joint refers to poor joint alignment or function. Inflammatory joint disease refers to fluid accumulation around the jaw.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

People in the Albuquerque do not have to suffer through TMD. Dr. Wall offers some of the latest dental procedures and techniques to address all kinds of problems affecting oral health and wellness.

In practice since 1983, Dr. Wall brings nearly four decades of experience to every patient's case. He is a proud member of the Albuquerque District Dental Society and the New Mexico Dental Association.

To learn more about the latest dental treatments and how we can help you, be sure to contact Cosmetic Dentistry of New Mexico.

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