Over 40 million Americans suffer from head, neck and facial pain that may be related to their TMJ (temporomandibular joint) or TMD (temporomandibular disorder), which are conditions of an unstable, unhealthy jaw joint that has the ability to cause headaches and muscular pain.
Our goal here at the Smile Center Orlando is to ensure that we create not only beautiful smiles, but also healthy ones. If we detect that you are experiencing a problem with your jaw joint prior to cosmetic treatment, we will put every effort forth to maintain a healthy jaw joint position while giving you the smile design you deserve.
An important component of smile design is to make certain that the mechanical system is working well. How the lower jaw moves makes an incredible difference on how a person’s muscles feel, how the teeth wear, and the shape and appearance of the face. After corrective treatment, you will notice that the face appears to have a more relaxed, younger appearance.
A healthy jaw joint means that uniform joint spacing is present in all areas of the TMJ, nerves and blood vessels can flow freely; the disc (cartilage) maintains its proper protective position. There is no pressure placed on the tissues, no clicking or popping sounds are present, and the muscles are healthy and happy.
A compressed or unhealthy jaw joint does not have proper joint spacing (space between the upper jaw bone and the lower jaw bone), therefore the lower jaw bone places pressure on the nerves and blood vessels of the head, neck and face. When nerves are compressed muscles will overwork, in an attempt to place the structure in a more neutral position, to “get the pressure off”. Overworked muscles get fatigued and overloaded causing an array of symptoms such as headaches (including migraines), facial pain, and chronic fatigue; which can lead to depression.
How your teeth fit together greatly affects the position of the jaw joint. A deep overbite, a crossbite or a large overjet can be contributing factors in jaw joint dysfunctions. It is our standard of care to recognize and treat jaw joint abnormalities, in order to stabilize the temporomandibular joint and it’s related structures.
If you think you may have a jaw joint dysfunction we have the knowledge, experience and the equipment to treat a joint disorder. Take the time to answer the TM Joint Self Assessment Questionnaire below.
Here are some ways you can visually check your TM joint: