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TMJ & TMD Therapy

Locations in Edina & Maple Grove to Better Serve You

TMJ & TMD Solutions

To best help you understand the complexity of TMD and TMJ let’s first have you put your finger directly in front of your ear. Now open and close your mouth and move your mouth side to side. TMD and TMJ is related to that unique joint. A joint with a lot of mobility and that mobility protected by a small disc sitting on the joint. Now that you can grasp the specific area in question we’ll give you specific definitions, the causes of the syndrome, the results and symptoms of experiencing TMJ and TMD and some of the measures Dr. Pan can take to help you correct this misunderstood dental issue.

The Actual Definitions of TMJ and TMD

To properly understand the dysfunction, TMD is a result of TMJ. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, is the joint itself, connecting the lower jawbone to your skull. TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, is the actual medical disorder resulting from issues with dysfunction in the joint.

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The Causes of TMJ and TMD

The causes of TMD vary but usually are a combination of several conditions. These might include the displacement of that small disc in the joint, a degenerative joint disease, if you have psychological issues and factors, grinding your teeth, a trauma like an accident, possibly some genetic factors or hormonal factors. We all deal with stress differently. Stress can be a huge contributor to the disorder. You may be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth and not aware of it. These stress induced actions cause you to tighten the muscles in your face and jaw which puts more pressure on the TMJ joint and magnifying the disorder. TMD affects twice as many women as men and seems to be most evident in the age group from 20 to 40 years of age. It is speculated that 20 or 30% of the adult population experiences TMD. Like a knee, ankle or elbow that can experience some abuse the temporomandibular joint can as well. Due to its unique design and the proximity to tiny sensitive nerves in your face it can be far more uncomfortable than a swollen knee.

Symptoms Attributed to TMJ and TMD

A list of symptoms that are associated with TMD is first and foremost a pain in your jaw or in the TMJ joint. This can also result in a pain or ringing in your ears. If you are experiencing frequent headaches or neck aches you might be developing TMD. If you have clicking or popping sound when your jaw moves that noise is a symptom of TMJ and TMD. Muscle spasms in the jaw area are also indicative of the disorder. You may have noticed the alignment of your top and bottom teeth has changed or you struggle to open your mouth wide and sometimes it feels like it’s going to lock.

The Solutions to Correct TMJ and TMD

TMJ and TMD again may appear in your adult life with no symptoms prior. So, through your regular six month visits to see Dr. Pan, if you are beginning to experience some of the discomforts or pains you need to bring it to Dr. Pan’s attention. TMJ and TMD can first be treated with a mouth guard or splint worn at night to keep your teeth apart and rest the joint. Or, often times you can wear orthodontic braces for period of time to correct your bite. We often focus on our smile when it comes to braces. Your teeth may be reasonably straight and your gaps normal. But you can’t necessarily see the quality of your bite alignment. Dr. Pan can evaluate that and determine whether the application of braces would help this bite pattern and the alignment relative to your teeth across both jaws.

Is TMJ and TMD life threatening

The disorder can result in severe pain that can dramatically affect your quality of life. It does deserve much more respect and attention though than over the counter pain relievers. TMD is non-life threatening and not permanent if measures are taken to correct it. TMD can come in cycles or waves and be temporary and the pain will eventually go away. There are measures you can take to help and prevent TMD.

Self-Care Practices

Here are some suggested practices that will help prevent TMJ and TMD and also help you to maintain a healthy and strong smile. Try to work on relaxing your face by holding your lips together but keeping your teeth apart. Do everything possible to avoid grinding your teeth and you should also avoid or eliminate chewing gum. If you spend time on the phone get yourself a headset and do not cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder. When you enjoy eating make every attempt to chew on both sides of your mouth. Don’t sit with your chin rested on your hand and for over all good health practice good posture by keeping your back straight, your head up and your shoulders squared and not slumping and rounded.

Know Yourself

No one enjoys pain what so ever even though millions of Americans experience chronic facial pain, neck pain and even severe headaches that can all be corrected and prevented. If you are subjected to any of these know that they are not common and you need to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Pan. The exact causes and symptoms are not 100% clear and can be misleading and confusing. An x-ray can’t diagnose the problem. A good dialogue between yourself and Dr. Pan can go a long way to correctly identifying the disorder. Granted, Dr. Pan can’t take the stress out of your life but might improve your quality of life by diagnosing the TMJ and TMD problem and allowing you to improve certain facets of your personal life to help you reduce the factors contributing to the TMJ and TMD. At your next scheduled checkup ask the staff at Dr. Pan’s office about TMJ and TMD and make sure you are not overlooking something that you can so easily correct.

Meet Dr. Pan

Pan Orthodontics Philosophy

To treat our patients as our families and to treat others as how we want to be treated. From your first phone call to the moment your new smile is born, everything in our office is set up to ensure an excellent experience with us. We will always listen to you and improve with your suggestions.

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Our Commitment to You

We will continue to keep up with the ever growing digital technologies to improve your orthodontic experience. We also commit to always help you find the most convenient time for your visit with us.

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