TMJ & Craniofacial Pain Insights from Your Sarasota Dentist

Serving Patients in Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton & Nearby Areas of Florida

About TMJ - Sarasota & Venice TMJ SpecialistsAt The Smile Centre locations in Sarasota and Venice, Florida, our neuromuscular dentists are trained in the advanced treatment of TMD, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

If you live in or around Sarasota and are experiencing TMJ symptoms such as headaches, ear ringing, morning tooth pain or jaw popping, please contact The Smile Centre dentists online in Sarasota or Venice, Florida, or call us at (941) 444-2480 to schedule an appointment.

Understanding Craniofacial Pain

The first step to correcting TMJ is making sure that the jaw joint, or the temporomandibular joint, is properly aligned. Our dentists are trained in both general and neuromuscular dentistry to address this issue.

Here are some things you should know about TMJ:

  • TMJ is a serious disorder that affects millions of Americans.
  • TMJ causes painful symptoms that can range from ringing in the ears to arm, neck, or back pain to migraines and headaches.
  • TMJ dysfunction occurs when the Temporomandibular joint or muscles have had development issues, trauma, and/or changes to the bite or skeletal structures.
  • In some cases, orthodontics or oral surgery can result in TMJ-related pain if the joint and muscle positions are not taken into consideration when planning and performing the treatment.

The Physiology Behind TMJ

The Temporomandibular joint is where the lower jaw meets the skull. This joint is one of the most delicate and intricate in the body. So myriad muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons surround and support it.

Sometimes people stand or even sit in one position for a long period of time and fail to realize the negative impact on the neck and  jaw. The jaw is so sensitive that as infants, even slight trauma can alter how it grows, that can effect the bite and lead to crowded/crooked teeth, overbites and a variety of unhealthy facial and airway changes.

When a person has TMJ, the jaw joint experiences excess pressure that produces painful, debilitating symptoms.

The most common cause of TMJ is malocclusion, which is a term used to describe a person's bite when their teeth don't come together properly. When the bite is misaligned, the muscles around the Temporomandibular joint strain, ache and potentially spasm, even while the jaw is at rest.

Since the Temporomandibular joint is so intricate, procedures as simple as a tooth filling can throw it out of alignment. And when our bite changes, the muscles and jaw work overtime. Once that happens, protective measures must be taken cease current or further damage to the jaw. This could be something as simple as a night guard or as specialized as a custom orthotic dental appliance, or a mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA), which is worn day and night and regularly adjusted.

Both the bite guard and the orthotic treatment can be complimented with additional treatment and therapies to help relieve the associated symptoms, spasms and pain. 

At The Smile Centre, our Sarasota and Venice, Florida, dentists measure this abnormal muscle activity with  K7 Electromyography (EMG) technology.

A TMJ/CFP/neuromuscular dentist takes the alignment of your temporomandibular joint into account every time they perform a dental procedure, helping to ensure that the joint stays healthy so you don't develop or exacerbate TMJ symptoms.

If you are suffering from TMJ and need advice from a dentist in Sarasota or Venice, Florida, please contact The Smile Centre to schedule a consultation.