Fortunately, most people have absolutely no idea where their temporomandibular joints, (TMJ) are or what they do. And the reason we say fortunately is because if you are familiar with these joints, then chances are they are giving your trouble.
If you place both of your hands just in front of your ears on either side of your face and wiggle your lower jaw, then you’ll feel these joints move. For patients with TMJ disorders, this simple movement can be painful. Temporomandibular joint disorders can be the source of pain in your jaw, your teeth, and even other parts of your body including your neck, shoulders and back. Dr. Colalillo and the staff at Colalillo Orthodontics can alleviate most TMJ symptoms and relieve your pain.
Some of our patients can point to a specific face or head injury as the beginning of their TMJ symptoms. However, according to the American Academy of General Dentistry, in most cases the reason a person develops TMJ is unknown. One frequent contributing factor is malocclusion, or the improper meeting of teeth along the upper and lower arches. When this happens, the muscles of the lower jaw may compensate and move your joints out of their normal position in order to help your teeth fit together properly.
Another factor can be abnormal wear and tear or teeth clenching and grinding that lead to uneven teeth surfaces. In this case, you may once again be unable to properly close your jaw. The TMJ Association also claims that certain diseases, such as arthritis, infections and a number of auto-immune diseases, may contribute to the development of TMJ disorder symptoms.
How do you know if you suffer from a TMJ disorder? If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder:
Dr. Colalillo uses a variety of progressive dental treatments to alleviate TMJ disorders. For most of his patients, a nightguard can be very helpful. Wearing this comfortable oral appliance at night positions your jaw correctly. In addition, a nightguard prevents teeth grinding, a prime contributor to TMJ disorders. With your jaw properly positioned and teeth grinding prevented, most patients experience relief from the often painful symptoms of TMJ.
Dr. Alex Colalillo offers complete orthodontics for children, teens, and adults including ClearCorrect Aligners and Clarity Aesthetic Braces. Our two Southern New Jersey locations serve patients from Collingswood, Haddon Twp., Haddon Heights, Haddonfield, Audubon, Pennsauken, Mullica Hill, Mantua, Swedesboro, Monroe Township, Pitman, and all surrounding communities. We want to take care of your family’s orthodontic needs! Make an appointment today!