Virginia Beach TMJ Dentist
Popping, Clicking and Snapping in the Jaw Joint
Many patients throughout Virginia who suffer from TMJ or TMD experience popping, clicking or snapping in the jaw joint. It is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ and TMD. The popping and clicking sounds many times are surprisingly loud where it may be heard by others when you chew or speak. Not all patients complain of pain in their jaw when the clicking or popping sound is heard and therefore, do not believe that they have a temporomandibular disorder.
The popping and clicking sounds that you hear many times is the displacing of the discs in your jaw joints. The jaw joints are ball and socket type of joints very similar to the hip joints and shoulder joints. The disc, or cartilage, in the joint allows the ball to glide smoothly in and out of the socket. When there is dysfunction in the joint, commonly caused by the muscles of the joint pulling the jaw out of it’s intended path, you may hear popping and clicking. You may also experience pain. If the disc is severely misplaced, your jaw may be limited on how wide it can open or may be locked shut.
A Neuromuscular Dentist can properly test and evaluate you and realign your bite, which also realigns the displaced disc. Once the jaw is realigned and the disc is back in place the clicking and popping sounds in the jaw usually subsides as the muscles holding the disc in place relax, alleviating the jaw, face, head, neck, back, and shoulder pain that resulted.
Dr. Carol F. Morgan, DDS, can help you if you have popping and clicking in your jaw joints 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.
TMJ Dentist Chesapeake
Ringing in the Ears – Tinnitus
The medical term for ringing in the ears is tinnitus. Many patients who live in Virginia suffer from tinnitus and seek help from their family doctor or a specialist such as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. Many times these doctors do not realize that the cause of the ringing is comming from TMJ disorder. It is commonly misdiagnosed and often goes untreated or is treated ineffectively. Many times the ringing in the ears is a result of having the jaw being out of align which causes a strained bite. The jaw area of the face is a complex network of muscles and nerves, and when the bite is misaligned muscles and nerves throughout the head, including the ears, can be affected.
A Neuromuscular Dentist is trained to diagnose the cause of your tinnitus. It may be related to an unstable or misaligned bite. The dentist can work with the source of the problem by stabilizing and realigning the bite so that the entire jaw area works together without pain and ringing I your ears.
Dr. Carol F. Morgan, DDS, can help the ringing in your ears that is 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.
Virginia Beach TMJ Dentist
Limited Jaw Movement and Jaw Locking
A very common symptom of temporomandibular disorder (TMD / TMJ) is limited jaw movement or the locking of the jaw. You may feel that your lower jaw is catching when you open or close your mouth. There may be times where you cannot open your mouth wide enough to adequately place food in your mouth. In severe cases, patients puree food or eat only soft foods because of limited jaw movement. In Virginia it is not uncommon that a patient with a locked jaw must move the jaw to one side or the other in order to open the mouth to eat or chew. We often hear that a patient needs to “pop” their jaw in order for the jaw to open fully.
Limited jaw movement or locking jaw is often a result of malocclusion or bad bite. When the jaw is not properly aligned, it may cause problems with the disc in the jaw joint (TMJ). You may hear popping or clicking or have neck pain, upper back pain or headaches.
A Neuromuscular Dentist is trained to test, diagnose and treat patients who suffer from limited jaw movement or locking of the jaw.
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.
Norfolk Virginia TMJ Dentist
There is no question that chronic pain very commonly causes symptoms of depression. Nobody likes to be in pain and unfortunately nobody like to be around somebody who suffers from chronic pain. Patients who suffer from depression many times have problems with their families at home. We commonly hear from a patient’s spouse how the depression affects the home life. There is an unfortunate amount of people who suffer from TMJ that also suffer from depression. The depression so commonly is misdiagnosed or dismissed as having no physical cause. There is also scientific evidence that shows that patients with chronic pain, a condition that nearly all TMJ patients can claim, have chemical changes in the brain as a result of the pain.
If the depression is severe, many patients need to work with more that one specialist to return to optimal health. Many patients also work with a psychological counselor as well as a chiropractor or physician. Luckily, some patients experience complete relief from the care and treatment of their neuromuscular dentist and do not need the multi-disciplinary approach. Your Neuromuscular Dentist can discuss the many options for treatment that you have.
Dr. Carol F. Morgan, DDS, can help your problems 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.
TMJ Dentist Virgina Beach
Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and Migraine headaches are a very common symptoms of Temporomandibular (TMJ) Disorder. It is common to hear patients report that they feel like there is a vise on their heads or the pressure is unbearable. Many patients take extraordinary amounts of prescription and over-the-counter medication to include Excedrin®, Tylenol® and Advil™ or Ibuprofen searching for relief. Do not be surprised if “medication therapy” only gives slight relief or only temporary relief.
Each year more than 28 million Americans, a majority of them women, suffer from chronic migraine headaches. They must work and spend billions of dollars on medications and other remedies. If you suffer from migraine or tension headaches, they may be caused by your occlusion (bite). The good news is, that if it is your bite that is the cause of your headaches, it is easy to treat and correct. The pain you have in you head and neck could be due to the fact that your jaw is not resting where it wants to be, leaving your jaw muscles in a state of chronic contraction (spasm).
It is the muscles of the temple area of the forehead that play an important role in the posturing and closing of the jaw. The Frontalis, Temporallis Anterior and Temporallis Posterior muscles most likely are in spasm causing excruciating pain. When your occlusion (bite) is not in its proper Neuromuscular alignment, the muscles of the jaw, face and head are overworked and their normal working cycle is disrupted. The headache pain that this disruption may cause can be excruciating.
TMJ Dentist Virginia Beach
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Many patients experience Neck and Shoulder pain or stiffness related to Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders. When your teeth and jaw do not fit together properly, there will be an imbalance in the jaw to skull to neck relationship. When the jaw and head or not properly aligned to the body, this abnormality will many times refer pain to the muscles of the neck, shoulder and back.
When the bite of a patient does not fit correctly, many times the head will not be properly aligned with the spine, as the body tries to compensate for the pain the patient is realizing. We find many times a patient’s head will lean forward which is the body’s response to make the bite feel better and allow the patient’s airway to open more. As you can imagine, as the head leans forward, this causes a tremendous amount of strain on the muscles of the neck, shoulder and upper back. The average weight of a human head is between 12 and 15 pounds. There is much less strain on the muscles of the neck, shoulder and back to hold the head in its anatomically correct position directly above the shoulders.
Additionally, many Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder patients are found to have one shoulder higher than the other. A Neuromuscular Dentist is trained to examine the way the eyes, mouth, head, neck and shoulders are aligned. The vast majority of the time after a patient’s bite is returned to its Neuromuscular position, their alignment of their head and spine return to their anatomically correct position.
Neuromuscular dentists understand that the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in the face and neck have a complex relationship. They work to correct the bite, relieving strain on the jaw and the surrounding muscles. Once the bite has been aligned, resulting pain in many areas of the body disappears.
Dr. Carol F. Morgan, DDS, can help your pain associated with TMJ disorders whether you live in York County, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, or any other surrounding city in Hampton Roads.