TMJ stands for "temporomandibular joint," or jaw joint.
These are the small joints in front of each ear that attach the lower jaw to the skull, and happen to be the most complex joints in the entire body.
The area of the face where the TMJ is located is an intricate network of bones, including the teeth, muscles, and nerves. Because of this, TMJ (dysfunction) conditions affect many areas of the body, from the top of the head in migraine-like headaches to numbness or tingling in the arms and pain in the neck or shoulders.
What Causes TMJ?
In most cases, TMJ disorders stem from a condition called malocclusion, which means having a "bad bite" or accidents and trauma. Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way; they are misaligned. This includes underbites and overbites.
When the teeth are misaligned, they cannot provide the support the muscles in the face need for chewing and swallowing. These muscles are then forced into a strained position, resulting in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back. Although a person may have beautiful teeth or had orthodontics to line the teeth up for aesthetic reasons, the muscles and joints may not be comfortable.
Contact our dental office today in Victoria, (Vancouver Island) B.C. to learn more about neuromuscular therapy!