TMJ Dentist Virginia Beach

Common Causes of TMJ / TMD


Pill_bottleIn most cases, TMJ/TMD disorders stem from a condition called malocclusion (bad Bite), automobile accidents or other trauma. Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way, in other words,they are misaligned. This includes underbites, overbites and crossbites.

When the teeth are misaligned, they cannot provide the support the muscles in the face and head need for chewing, swallowing and talking. These muscles are then forced into a strained position, many times resulting in pain throughout the jaws, face, head, shoulders, and back. Although a person may have beautiful teeth or had orthodontics to line the teeth up for aesthetic reasons, the muscles and joints may not be comfortable.

It is not uncommon for a patient to develop symptoms of TMJ/TMD following orthodontics, or after a dental procedure such as a crown, bridge or root canal therapy. During orthodontic treatment, teeth may be removed (bicuspid extraction) or are moved to give a more aesthetic appearance or for function. After the teeth are moved they will fit together differently than before orthodontic treatment. As a result, the patient will have a “new” bite which many times, sets off TMJ or TMD symptoms. it is not uncommon for a patient following orthodontic treatment to start having migraine headaches or start grinding their teeth.

Many dental procedures can also affect the bite. A patient receiving a crown, needs to pay special attention to how the new “tooth” fits when the mouth is closed. If the crown is too high, it may hit the opposing teeth before the other teeth in the mouth fit together. This condition many times will cause a disruption in the normal functioning of the jaw and cause TMJ or TMD symptoms.

A trained Neuromuscular dentist can examine, test and identify symptoms and causes of temporomandibular disorders. The dentist will provide a treatment plan that will address the underlying cause of the pain and discomfort, usually without surgical intervention.

Dr. Carol F. Morgan, DDS, can help your symptoms associated with TMJ disorders whether you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, York County, Williamsburg or any other surrounding city in Hampton Roads.