What is TMJ Disorder?
That clicking, popping and discomforting pain of your jaw has a name and it is called TMJ disorder or Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction. Though TMJ refers specifically to the area affected—the Temporomandibular Joint—this acronym is often used interchangeably with TMD and various other labels associated with this obscure yet surprisingly common disorder.
Most people aren’t familiar with the acronym or the condition, for it is still being studied and grasped, but there’s good reason for the unfamiliarity. In fact, many physicians and dentists find themselves in the same boat as you, just not LA’s TMJ disorder expert, Dr. Eddie Siman. For over 30 years, Dr. Siman has devoted his professional career to the study and treatment of TMJ, making him uniquely qualified to help you understand all there is to know about the condition.
It’s All Connected To Your Jaw
Unlike many others who deem themselves TMJ specialists, Dr. Siman has been able to treat more patients suffering from TMJ disorder because he understands the importance of the Temporomandibular Joint relative to the rest of the human body. TMJ disorder symptoms encompass more than simply lockjaw. You may not know it, but a strained TMJ may be the very cause behind your tinnitus, ear congestion, migraines and even the posture of your back among other symptoms discussed elsewhere.
Your upper and lower jaw are supposed to fit together in one resting position, but with TMJ disorder, patients’ jaws are misaligned. The result is usually an uneven bite and compromised movement of the jaw joint and its surrounding muscles. When a person’s bite is unbalanced, the rest of the upper body and head regions are hindered due to muscle tension that can eventually cause further problems like neck and shoulder pain and even sleep apnea.
To make understanding the debilitating effects of TMJ disorder easier, think of the condition and its subsequent symptoms as a line of dominos. When there is heavy strain or disruption (jaw dislocation) of this particular region, the damage cascades through the rest of the body. Many medical and dental professionals brush aside the possible connection of the jaw and TMJ disorder to recurring headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain. Others aggravate matters by providing night guards that make the pain worse. Don’t rule out TMJ; call our office to set up a consultation with Dr. Siman.