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Why Your TMJ (TemporoMandibular Joint), The Most Important Joint Of Our Body Is So Important In Making Smiles?

Missing teeth affects your ability to chew correctly and your jaw movement, which will start to affect your TMJ joint.  The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint found at the base of the skull that connects the jawbone to the skull. Found on either side, it eases movement of the lower jawbone. Disorders affecting this joint prevent its movement, which causes pain to the sufferer.

 

This joint is unique, compared to other joints found within the body, because of its structure and functionality. It is essentially a hinge that helps the unhindered up and down movement of the lower jawbone.

How it works:

The articulation of two surfaces forms the movement of the TMJ, i.e., mandibular fossa and the articular tubercle. Found between these surfaces is the articular disk that facilitates the smooth, unhindered movement of the jaw. In opening and closing the mouth, the TMJ has to move forward and downward then upward and backward. This unique series of movements makes it very prone to dysfunction.

 

Symptoms:

Similar to other joints, the TMJ can fracture or dislocate due to various factors causing discomfort. Temporomandibular joint disorders can be recognized by any of the following symptoms:
• Pain on either side of the joint
• Aching around the head and neck area
• Difficulty in the movement of the lower joint
• Pain when chewing 
• Tenderness of the jaw

Dysfunction of the TMJ commonly occurs when the cartilage slips out of place. This commonly affects people with missing teeth or who regularly cover their natural teeth as in the case of athletes who wear mouth guards. Other causes include:
i. Trauma in the head and neck area
ii. Consistently eating on one side
iii. Bad posture
iv. Genetics in the family

A dysfunctional TMJ is very uncomfortable as well as painful and reduces the quality of life. Just as keeping healthy gums and teeth is important for a healthy mouth, taking care of your TMJ is also very essential to maintaining a healthy jaw.

Prevention:


Occlusion in dentistry means the contact between the upper (maxillary) and the lower (mandibular) teeth which happens during chewing or eating and at rest. These activities create stress on teeth which should be managed. If the forces are improperly directed or exceed the system's capacity, the delicate oral structure will get overwhelmed and break down. Over-occlusion leads to severe pain and headaches. TMJ is one of the occlusion problems others being malocclusion, gum problems and misaligned or crooked teeth.

Unlike other body joints, the TMJ is the center of many nerve insertions. Missing teeth for a long period of time or wearing anything that covers your natural teeth will damage your TMJ significantly. TMJ is quite important and it should be protected at all costs. TMJ problems can cause you permanent discomfort.

 

  

                  A Beautiful Smile should be Natural and Healthy.

Treatment:

The treatment options available for TMJ disorders are:
Occlusions
Medication
Corrective jaw surgery
Lifestyle changes
Replacing Missing Teeth

Choosing a suitable treatment option will serve to improve the quality of life through:
a) Alleviating discomfort
b) Reducing the risk of dental damage 
c) Improving the health of your ears
d) Allow you to enjoy your meals again by chewing correctly

When and if you are suffering from TMJ disorder, it’s best to find a solution that offers you the best treatment option.

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