The temporomandibular joint connects the temporal bone of the skull to the lower jaw (the mandible). This joint, often referred to as the TMJ, is part of a complex system also comprised of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones that all work together to move your jaw up, down and side to side as you chew and speak throughout your day.
There are a number of conditions that can prevent this joint from functioning properly – these conditions are known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD. It is common in woman of childbearing age, but can affect people outside this group as well. Symptoms include clicking or popping in the joint, difficulty chewing, headaches, getting the jaw “stuck” in one position as well as severe pain and/or discomfort in the joint and jaw. There are several causes of TMD, including clenching and grinding, a habit that many adults have, but may not be aware of.
TMD can be treated in a variety of ways, including appliance therapy. To determine the correct method or methods of treatment that are appropriate for an individual, Drs. Harelick will do a complete examination of the joint and muscles and review of your medical history. They may recommend specialized xrays and/or molds of your teeth in order to see how your teeth and bite come together. At Harelick Dental Associates of Holliston, we are committed to helping our patients live a life without pain and discomfort. If you have any questions about TMD or TMJ appliances, please call our office to schedule a consultation!