Some people suffer from TMJ disorder; some have a habit of clenching or grinding during the day and the night (this may be an unconscious habit). Ear popping and clicking sounds as well as muscle aches and headaches may manifest. After a thorough exam, a custom made appliance may be recommended, which is often successful in relaxing the jaw muscles, reducing muscle spasm and allowing the jaw to close in a position that allows for more muscle relaxation. Other combinations of treatments may be recommended to improve success.
“TMJ” is a common/catch-all phrase that pertains to jaw joint and muscular issues relating to the jaw. Clicking and popping sounds from the jaw joints as well as ear pain can have a dental component to their source.Muscle aches as well as headaches can be associated with this condition.
Life is fast paced today and people are clenching/grinding much more. Sometimes it is habitual. Sometimes it is done at night and the patient wakes up with muscle tenderness and soreness. On occasion, this is something that is triggered because of a change in one’s lifestyle. Nowadays, stress seems to factor into these grinding and clenching habits. There may be clear signs of excessive wear of the teeth as well.
Dr. Gary Klein will conduct a comprehensive exam to assess the head and neck including the muscles and jaw joints. The bite will be assessed for any discrepancies.
He may recommend a custom made orthotic/bite splint that is often successful in reducing muscle spasm and allowing the jaw to close in a gentler position that allows more muscle relaxation. The design of the splint is customized to the individual’s needs. Other combinations of treatments/exercises/medications may be recommended to improve success. Dr. Klein has had extensive training and experience in TMJ and myofascial pain.
Article by Dr. Gary Klein (November 2016)
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