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Home > Dental Conditions > TMJ & TMD > TMJ & TMD Symptoms  > A Patient’s Guide to TMJ
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TMJ: A Patient’s Guide

TMJ often affects other parts of the body.

Severe, unresolved and chronic head and neck pain frequently destroys the quality of life and relationships of the sufferer, as well as jeopardizes one's ability to earn a living.

The pain that they experience and the labyrinthine path that these sufferers are forced to take while trying to find relief may lead to social withdraw, depression and family dissolution. Additionally, the sufferers can exhibit increased absenteeism from the work place, resulting in significant financial consequences to them, their employers and the business community in general.

This agony is worsened when the sufferer, despite great efforts, is unable to find help. For many, daily life revolves around trying to cope with and search for relief from the excruciating pain with which they suffer. Unable to escape the pain and their feelings of hopelessness, some of these victims consider suicide.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome, or TMJ, is one of the most common but overlooked causes of this type of pain. It is most often confused, even by the medical community, with migraines. Because it can mimic so many other pain-producing health problems, it is known as the "great imposture."

The average tension type headache as well as residual head and neck pain from whiplash injuries are key examples of the disease process. Additional symptoms include toothaches, earaches, ringing ears, back pain or clicking jaw joints. Patients sometimes experience hearing changes, light or sound sensitivity and numbness in their hands or feet.

Close to 80 percent of the population suffers from this affliction to some extent. The severity of these symptoms can range from mild and infrequent to severe and intractable. Fortunately, only a small percentage of those afflicted require treatment. Most sufferers who require treatment can be helped non-surgically.

Unlike migraine headaches that are induced by vascular changes, the pain associated with TMJ is usually the result of muscle spasms or "charley-horses" in the muscles of the head and neck. The spasms are generally a result of the body's attempt to function normally in spite of an existing misalignment between the teeth or dental appliances and the jaw joints, sometimes on a microscopic level. Automobile collisions or other traumas to the head, neck or jaw joint, can trigger TMJ.

The Head and Neck Diagnostic Center attracts patients from all over the United States and many are able to find the much needed relief that they have been desperately seeking at this facility. Its director, A. Richard Goldman, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., is author of the book, TMJ Syndrome: The Overlooked Diagnosis. Licensed as a general dentist, his practice is limited to the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ and related disorders. His passion for helping those who suffer from TMJ has been inspired by the reconstructive life changes that he has witnessed in his patients over the past 30 years.

Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.

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