If you are looking for a TMJ specialist Raleigh NC has available to diagnose and treat the cause of disorders relating to the TMJ Raleigh NC residents have, the first thing you need to know is that no dentist is allowed to refer to themselves as a TMJ specialist. This is a ruling by the dental association.
The next thing you need to know is that not all dentists are comfortable in having the responsibility of properly diagnosing and then treating TMJ disorders.
The reason is that the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is widely considered to be the most complex joints in the human body. Because of this, a significant investment needs to be made by a TMJ dentist in order to learn how to properly assess and treat this condition.
Your First Step
Dr. Ferzi of Smiles Of Cary Family Dentistry has made this commitment to help Raleigh patients though and the first step for people to take who believe they may have this condition is to call his office at 919-462-3350 in order to book an appointment for an initial assessment.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.
This joint is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control its position and movement.
What Causes TMD?
The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.
Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck such as from a heavy blow or whiplash can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:
- Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ
- Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
- Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
- Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMD and TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak or open your mouth wide
- Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- A tired feeling in the face
- Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly)
- Swelling on the side of the face
Other common symptoms include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches and hearing problems.
Click on TMJ Raleigh NC to learn about the diagnostic tests that you should look for having done during an initial assessment for TMJ disorders.
And, please call Dr. Ferzli’s office at 919-462-3350 to ask any questions about this condition or to book an appointment for an initial assessment.