What Causes TMD/TMJ?

Because temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) shares many of its chronic, painful symptoms with other ailments including migraines, arthritis, sinus infections, toothaches,and gum disease, the condition is often misdiagnosed.

TMD/TMJ is rooted in the area where your temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your skull. Although this connective region is small—about the size of a coin—it is densely packed with nerves, muscles, joints and bones.

At the heart of this network is the trigeminal nerve, which is integral to biting, chewing and swallowing, and also allows you to register sensations in your face. If your teeth and/or jaw are misaligned, excessive pressure can be placed on the trigeminal nerve and the surrounding nerves, joints and muscles, leading to symptoms including:

  • Face, neck, shoulder and back pain
  • Headaches
  • Jaw tension or pain
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Jaw locking or sticking
  • Earaches or ringing ears
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers and hands

Left untreated, TMD/TMJ can cause increasing pain, contribute to depression and play a role in the development of other progressive dental problems, such as abnormal wear, broken teeth, or periodontal disease.

A TMD/TMJ testing session with Phoenix neuromuscular dentist Dr. Scott LeSueur can determine the source of your problem and provide the foundation for a custom TMD/TMJ treatment plan to correct your alignment issue and relieve your pain.

To learn more about TMD/TMJ treatment, or to schedule your TMD/TMJ testing appointment, please contact the office of Arizona dentists Dr. Scott LeSueur and Dr. Charles Dodaro. We welcome patients from the Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and East Valley, Arizona, areas.

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