Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMDs) are a collection of muscular and joint disorders that result in facial pain and limited movement or function of the jaw. TMDs are common, affecting approximately 10% of the adult population!
Unfortunately, there remains a considerable amount of confusion, myths, misdiagnosis and mistreatment around TMDs. Patients often undergo expensive and unecessary evaluations and treatments. Most patients with a TMD can be easily diagnosed based upon a simple clinical examination, complimented at times by xray or other special imaging (MRI or CT scan) of the joint.
There are two major "subtypes" of TMD: Myofascial (pain primarily originating in the face and jaw muscles) and Articular (pain primarily originating from the TMJ, or jaw joint). Accurate identification of the subtype is essential to developing an effective treatment plan. Many times, patients undergo unnecessary treatments including oral splints, crown and bridge, orthodontics and even surgery - this can be avoided by making sure you are evaluated by a qualified and experienced clinician in the diagnosis and treatment of TMDs.
The causes of TMDs can vary from arthritis, injury, muscle strain, personal stress to muscle hyperactivity / overuse. IUn rare instances a serious underlying disorder can cause TMD-like symptoms. Seeing a qualifed and experienced clinician in orofacial pain is the best way to get to the bottom of y our problem and develop a plan for recovery.
Dr. Sirois is s Diplomat of the American Board of Oral Medicine, received the PhD in Neruoscience, is an internationally recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of TMDs, and is a research scientist funded by the National Institutes of Health on the mechanisms and treatment of TMD.
If y ou think you have pain due to a TMD, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sirois to get the best advice.
For authoritative patient resources on TMD, visit these organization websites:
National Institutes of Health: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/TMJ/TMJDisorders.htm
The TMJ Association: http://www.tmj.org/