HEALTH REPORT: LET'S TALK TMJ

By Will Yoder, DMD

 

When people think about their oral health, often teeth and gums are the only things that come to mind. But the truth is, our lower teeth are attached to one of the most complex joints in our bodies, our TMJs (temporomandibular joints). And our TMJs are connected to many muscles in the face and neck. Every time we talk, chew, open and close, even in our sleep, our teeth and TMJs are working together. When the upper and lower teeth don’t meet together evenly, it causes unbalanced pressure in the joints. This uneven pressure can cause some people to experience head and neck pain, muscle soreness and headaches. Other people may experience no pain, but the unbalanced stress can cause their teeth to wear, break, rotate or become loose.

Our mouths are an incredibly complex system that is in constant movement, and when the whole system isn’t functioning correctly, we begin to see it break down.

As a medical professional, I feel that it is my responsibility to continually seek answers for the people I serve. When I started practicing dentistry, I quickly noticed that there was a population of patients who were widely underserved. A segment of people who are left spinning their wheels with unanswered TMJ pain and neverending dental issues - people who had an unstable chewing system. Rather than patch things as they broke or give TMJ patients medications, I went on a quest to find answers.  This led me to the Texas Center for Occlusal Studies and Minimally Invasive Dentistry residency program, where I studied what a healthy chewing system looks like. What I found is when our jaw joints are stabilized and our teeth meet together evenly, it removes all extra tension, alleviating jaw, head and neck pain. I’ve seen many patients get permanent relief as quickly as a week, and these were people who had been taking medications, using botox and getting nerve blocks for years.

My mission is to help people find the cause of their symptoms and eliminate the problem so that they can enjoy a lifetime of pain-free dental health.

 

 

 



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