WHAT IS TMJ/TMD?
TMD, commonly called TMJ, is a real condition caused by disturbances in the action of the jaw. Often jaw problems are only a symptom, secondary to a greater problem affection the body, much like a fever is secondary of the common flu. In the absence of an acute injury to the head or face, the primary cause of jaw problems can sometimes be an unidentified sleep breathing issue, Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Proper diagnosis and emphasis on origin rather than symptoms is key to successfully treating the disorder.
Signs and Symptoms most notably include Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding, also known as Bruxism. THIS IS NOT NORMAL! Bruxism is a medical term for grinding or clenching of the teeth and is actually classified as a Sleep Movement Disorder. Although once commonly thought, Children do NOT grow out of this! This is a hallmark sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and can begin the grueling path of a lifetime of TMD and Orthopedic Development Problems.
TMJ/TMD in Children and Adults has several side effects including but not limited to:
- Pain in the Jaw
- Facial, Neck or Back Pain
- Jaw Popping or Clicking
- Restricted Opening
- Catching or Locking of the Jaw
- Pain when Chewing
- Ear Pain or Ringing in the Ears
Although, TMD is not life threatening, it can affect quality of life. If left untreated the symptoms listed above typically get worse. To help restore quality of life, it is important to get the proper treatment. Dr. VanDyke and the TMJ Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana Team are dedicated to diagnosing, treating, and relieving pain caused by TMD.
HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE TMD?
Before an initial exam, you will fill out comprehensive forms which include a health questionnaire. These forms help Dr. VanDyke better understand and diagnose the underlying issues. Each Diagnosis and the Care which follows is uniquely designed FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL! Treatment may vary from patient to patient.