We frequently have patients come into our downtown Toronto dentistry feeling great pain. That pain sadly comes in many forms. For example, some of our patients experience tremendous jaw pain. There are several disorders can cause chronic pain in the jaws of our Toronto patients. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) involve a lot of pain or tenderness in the muscles and/or joint that control jaw movement.

Are you experiencing jaw pain, jaw popping or clicking, or pain in the face, eyes, neck, head, and pain when you chew? Or when you want to open wide? Keep reading. Sadly many MDs don’t fully understand this disorder, but at our downtown Toronto dentistry we’ve put forth a lot of effort to understand it.

Let’s talk about the pain of TMJ (which is a type of TMD), which involves both a hinging and a sliding joint.

Did you know that when you eat your jaw moves in a circular motion? Without this circular motion, you can’t properly chew food. The translational movement of the temporomandibular joint allows this to happen. It’s an evolutionary mechanism that humans developed over time to better digest food. With TMJ, making this circular motion can be hard and painful. If TMJ goes untreated, it can lead to future problems with your jaw or even complete misalignment.

Our downtown Toronto dentists can check your TMJ. Our dentists check to see if you have TMJ by listening to any sounds your jaw makes. We’ll also observe any unusual movements.

How do you know if you have a TMD right away?

We strongly suggest that you come to our downtown Toronto dentist office for a proper diagnosis. But you can also start with a simple self-test. It’s easy, and you can even try this right now.

  1. Place your finger over the joint in front of your ear
  2. Ever so slightly open your jaw
  3. Then open wide. Do this until you can feel your joint move
  4. Do you hear a clicking? Or a grating noise? Or a crackling? You may also feel tenderness when you press on the joint. If you feel or hear any of this you may have a TMD
  5. Also with TMDs, you may experience earaches, stiffness in the jaw muscle, jaw pain under the ear, and feeling like your jaw is locked

There isn’t any kind of a standard medical test to detect TMD, but based off our your pain profile we can make a diagnosis.

Our downtown Toronto dentists will make sure your facial muscles are moving properly and check for teeth clenching. It may be necessary to do an X-ray or a CT scan to get a comprehensive review of your mouth. We’ve come across many patients experiencing TMDs as downtown Toronto dentists. Therefore, we know the signs and we know the treatments.

No dentistry has a standard method for treating TMD disorders. At our downtown Toronto dentistry, we practice neuromuscular dentistry to treat your chronic jaw pain.

What is neuromuscular dentistry?

This is the approach that we take when treating patients with TMD disorders. Neuromuscular dentistry is holistic by design. We take the time to truly examine the alignment of your jaw and neck muscles so our approach can work for your specific condition. If you’re looking for neuromuscular dentistry treatments in Toronto, we’re a good place to start.

Neuromuscular dentistry is based on the work of medical pioneer Dr. Bernard Jankelson and the research on skeletal muscles done by Dr. Janett G. Travell. At our downtown Toronto dentistry, we also believe that a majority of pain complaints originate from stress and tension in muscles. Stress and tension in the jaw muscles are caused by their relationship to your body’s other bone structures. The relationship between one’s teeth, jaw joints and muscles is complex.

How can neuromuscular dentistry treat my chronic jaw pain?

Our downtown Toronto dentistry can attempt to correct the alignment of your jaw and overall bite. An estimated 85% of TMD cases are caused by a misaligned jaw. So that’s why we investigate the actual alignment and motion of the jaw.  We use a variety of complex technology and electronic devices to completely relax the jaw muscles in order to properly and most effectively realign your bite. It’s all about finding that optimal jaw position.

It’s so important to have holistic approach addresses the importance of dental and oral health to the effective functioning of muscles and joints within the mouth. Our Toronto dentists have found that neuromuscular dentistry also helps with the rest of the body. It’s a long-term process, but it’s worth it.

Neuromuscular dentistry procedures address issues such as TMD as well as other alignment issues within the jaw and muscle joints. The treatments available for TMD Disorder do not cause permanent changes in or change the structure or position of, the jaws or teeth. Although these disorders may cause discomforting side effects that remain persistent, patients most often do not need aggressive types of treatment.

What can you do in the short-term for TMD relief?

Treat your TMD condition as any other muscle injury. That means there are a lot of little things you can do to reduce the wear

Jaw pain relief comes by reducing the amount of wear and tear to the joint. We suggest wearing a nightguard to give your jaw a break from any movements during sleep. You may be clenching and grinding your teeth at night without knowing it. This can lead to other issues such as more jaw pain and even sleep apnea. We also suggest that you stop chewing gum and eat softer foods.

If you have been experiencing any of the above-listed symptoms or you have been officially diagnosed with TMD, please contact our downtown Toronto dentist office immediately to speak with someone about setting up your consultation.