What Causes TMD?
General Dentist and Cosmetic Dental Services in Edmonton, Alberta
Posted: August 13, 2012
This question is not so easy to answer as it may seem. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD, or sometimes TMJ) is a controversial health condition, and many dentists can’t agree that it truly exists, let alone what causes it. TMD has been studied for more than 100 years in neuromuscular dentistry, but there remain two main schools of thought on the condition.
One school of thought is that TMD can only be caused by the displacement or destruction of the articular disk, the cushion between the jawbone and the skull in the temporomandibular joint. This type of injury may ultimately require surgery and potentially a joint replacement implant. Adherents to this theory claim that TMD is most often caused by a traumatic injury to the head or jaw.
Others believe that TMD can be caused by chronic misalignment of the jaw. This can be caused by a relatively minor jaw trauma, but may also be due to malocclusion—teeth that fit together poorly, which impairs the efficiency of the temporomandibular joint and can result in dozens of disparate symptoms that may be hard to track back to their original cause. This type of TMD may be treatable with a combination of electric massage, dental splints worn in the mouth at night, or building up the teeth to restore a balanced bite.
To learn more about neuromuscular dentistry and what it can treat, please contact Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko at Focus on Smiles in Edmonton, Alberta for a consultation.