TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, and it can cause some serious pains. It can also lead to a lot of different symptoms, the most common of which is continuous headaches. For this reason, doctors often misdiagnose TMJ as migraines and then prescribe strong (and possibly often addictive) painkillers. However, this does not cure the problem, and sufferers may believe that there is no cure.
TMJ symptoms are usually caused by spasms in the muscles of the head, neck, shoulders, and back, and these, in turn, are caused by a misalignment in the way the teeth fit together with the way the jaw wants them to fit, and it can be a very small misalignment indeed. What happens is that the body tries to compensate for the difference which is what causes the spasms.
Jaw misalignment can be a result of various things, such as sports injuries if you play contact sports, car accidents, whiplash, and so on. The symptoms can be many. As well as the headaches and shoulder and neck pain, you can suffer from back pain, facial pain, a numb feeling in fingers and toes, tooth pain, ear pain, earache, ringing in the ears, clicking or popping in the jaw joint, bruxism (teeth grinding), jaw clenching, and vertigo!
Muscle Spasms Do Not Show Up On X-Rays
Furthermore, muscle spasms cannot show up on X-rays, CAT scans, or some laboratory tests, and this is why TMJ is often misdiagnosed as migraine. At Oral Surgery San Francisco, we are TMJ specialists in San Francisco and that is why you should contact us immediately if you think you might be suffering from it. Don’t leave it, because TMJ is a degenerative disease which means that it is only going to get worse, and not better unless it is treated.
As TMJ specialists in San Francisco, we have the very latest 3D scanner called the New Tom. This provides our doctors with a full 3D picture of your jaws and allows them to correctly diagnose and treat the problem.
Once they know exactly what the problem is, they can then prepare a plan of individualized treatment for your specific issue. No two patients are exactly the same, so the treatment has to address your particular situation.
It is also true that the Bay Area is a high stress environment, and this can serve to make matters worse. In some other parts of the state, TMJ might be more manageable, although even so, you should get it attended to.
Click on the Contact Us link at the top of the page and make an appointment to see one of our doctors who are TMJ specialists in San Francisco.