Serving Choto, Northshore, and surrounding areas of Knoxville, TN
Can you identify where your temporomandibular joint is? Here’s a hint; it’s a small joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this ailment is one of the most mysterious in all of medical science. Symptoms can vary widely from person to person, making TMJ disorder one of the most difficult diagnoses to make successfully. Neuromuscular dentists in the Knoxville area such as Dr. Darrel Clabough and Dr. Tommy Spears at Choto Family Dentistry are the best-qualified medical professionals to identify and treat a case of TMJ disorder. In the meantime, you can follow this guide to determine if you may have TMJ disorder.
Many medical doctors do not understand TMJ disorder and all of its associated complexities
One of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder is recurring painful headaches. In many cases, these headaches are misidentified as migraines by general practitioners. However, such headaches usually do not respond well to migraine remedies because they are being caused by TMJ disorder. In most cases, doctors do not have the training to identify a case of TMD, while a dentist trained in the area of neuromuscular dentistry possesses the knowledge to identify a case of the disorder, as well as provide effective, lasting treatment.
Symptoms of a case of TMJ disorder can manifest at various points throughout the body. The temporomandibular joint is unique; it is a hinging joint as well as a sliding joint, helping create the circular movement needed to chew food properly and fully. Many symptoms of TMJ disorder deal with the jaws: jaw pain, popping or clicking sounds emanating from the jaws, or limited range of motion of the jaws.
Other frequently reported symptoms of TMJ disorder include earaches, or pain emanating from the face, neck, or even the back and shoulders. Significant pain is perhaps the most frequently reported symptom of the disorder. This is because the temporomandibular joint is located in close proximity to the trigeminal nerve, which transmits more sensory information to the brain than any other neural pathway in the body.
You can perform a simple test at home to determine if you may suffer from TMD
First, place a finger over the joint in front of your ear. Next, slightly open your jaw. Open your jaws wider until you feel the joint under your finger begins to move. Does the joint feel tender from the pressure of your finger? Do you hear a grating, clicking, or crackling sound? If you can answer yes to any of those questions, then there is probably an issue with your temporomandibular joint and should be evaluated at your earliest convenience by a neuromuscular dentist. An advanced specialization of dentistry, neuromuscular dentists have completed unique, intensive, and rigorous training that allows them to identify or restore the optimum alignment of your bite and jaw. Once this ideal alignment has been achieved, it removes any source of stress that may be impacting your temporomandibular joint, alleviating TMJ disorder and any of the other symptoms it may be causing.
TMJ treatment in Knoxville
If you are one of the millions of Americans living with TMJ disorder, it is crucial to remember this ailment will not go away by itself. In fact, left untreated, the disorder and the symptoms it causes only will worsen with time, which is why you should visit a neuromuscular dentist like the ones on staff at Choto Family Dentistry to receive lasting treatment. To learn more about how we can detect and treat TMJ disorder, and its associated symptoms, give us a call at (865) 269-6688 to schedule a consultation.
Choto Family Dentistry is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in Knoxville, Tennessee, including the communities of Choto and Northshore.