TMJ Neck Pain

TMJ Neck Pain

TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain

TMJ Neck Pain

TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain

Is neck pain related to TMJ? Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA has the answer

TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain

Temporomandibular joint disorder, called TMJ, negatively affects one of the most important joints in the body. The jaw can have some surprising and severe effects on the surrounding areas of the face, neck and can worsen drastically overtime if left untreated.

Causes of TMJ

There are numerous causes of TMJ, but most commonly they are related to whiplash neck injuries, jaw injuries, or severe grinding of teeth – possibly due to stress or simple genetics. Other potential causes of TMJ include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis which can affect the health of the temporomandibular joint as well as other joints in the body. Whatever the case, TMJ isn’t something you want worsening, so make sure to see a TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA.

How surrounding muscles are affected

When the temporomandibular joint is misaligned, injured or compromised in any other way, you may require extra effort to chew, talk or even yawn. Since the jaw muscles are capable of only so much effort, other muscles of the face, neck and even shoulders must be recruited to make up for the difference in strength required. Of course, even though these muscles are connected to the jawbone, they aren’t really designed for this task. Over time, it can become very painful and exhausting for these muscles to compensate in this way, just as a hip may become painful when a person is limping to compensate for a bad knee.

How TMJ neck pain is diagnosed

Usually the pain of TMJ leads a patient to a doctor to rule out other disorders that have the same symptoms. If other causes have been ruled out, such as sinus problems or gum disease, a dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s jaw.

If several of the symptoms have been occurring for a significant amount of time along with limited movement or clicking of the jaw, and the symptoms are severe enough to be a problem for the patient, effective treatment options will be recommended. TMJ neck pain can be a very distressing part of daily life and should never be taken lightly. For those who are searching for an experienced TMJ dentist in Beverly, MA, Dr. Benjamin Polan has a warm, friendly and caring staff that can help with all of its associated symptoms.

Life transforming dental solutions

By Beverly MA Dentist Dr. Benjamin Polan

Unbalanced Bite

Unbalanced Bite

Unbalanced bite can be a pain in the neck

Unbalanced Bite

Unbalanced bite can be a pain in the neck

Balance your imbalanced bite in Beverly, MA with Dr. Benjamin Polan

Unbalanced bite can be a pain in the neck

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. There are a number of symptoms associated with TMJ disorders that range from annoying aches to searing pains. While there are a wide variety of symptoms, the primary cause of TMJ is a unbalanced jaw or bite. TMJ disorders occur when your upper and lower teeth align in a way that is unnatural for your jaw.

When your teeth are misaligned, it puts a strain on the muscles in your jaw, face, head and neck which in turn stresses the nerves that run through them. The tired muscles cause TMJ aches and the compressed nerves cause the TMJ pain. Since your whole body is composed of muscles, nerves, bones and joints that are all connected, the pain and strain can extend downward to your neck, shoulders and back. Some people experience a tingling or numbness in their fingers, hands or arms.

What causes the imbalance?

The more obvious indications of a misaligned bite are an underbite, overbite or crossbite, however, TMJ does not have to result from misaligned teeth. There are some instances where the teeth appear to align evenly with each other, but the muscles and joints are still in an uncomfortable position relative to the jaw. TMJ also results from poorly restored teeth, missing teeth, thumb sucking, certain types of trauma to the jaw and habits developed during childhood.

During childhood, the tongue is largely used in the development of your jaw. The tongue, in its natural position, exerts force on the upper arch of your mouth to assist in jaw development. When this force is not present, the jaw will not grow to its potential. Also, allergies and other conditions that cause a child to breathe through the mouth can cause a misaligned jaw because the tongue is forced downward rather than upward to allow air to enter.

A misaligned bite can throw your whole body off

A misaligned bite may cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth, changing your facial appearance as the space between your teeth diminishes. Jowls, premature wrinkles, and creases that an unbalanced bite cause to form at the sides of your nose and mouth are not physically painful, but can be distressing nonetheless.

You may begin to hunch your shoulders or slide your head forward in an attempt to compensate for the pain, causing postural problems. These types of changes to your facial appearance and body posturing may not be immediately noticeable since they occur over time as your body tries to adjust.

Balance out your bite

Dr. Benjamin Polan is a TMJ dentist in Beverly, MA who specializes in neuromuscular dentistry to treat TMJ disorders. Rather than focusing on just your joints and teeth as is done with traditional dentistry, Dr. Polan recognizes the relationship between your bite, your jaw and the muscles in your body. He focuses his efforts on the health of your posture, your range of motion and your muscular functions.

A consultation with Dr. Polan will determine the correct posturing for your jaw and which of the various types of restorative procedures such as crowns, bridges, or orthodontics would be effective to restructure your teeth.

Life transforming dental solutions

By Beverly MA Dentist Dr. Benjamin Polan

What is TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry?

What is TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry?

The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry

What is TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry?

The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry

Dr. Benjamin Polan explains the science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry in Beverly, MA

The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry

Many people find it extremely difficult to enjoy everyday activities because of a painful condition such as a headache, earache, sore ear or an aching neck. It has been estimated that more than twenty-eight million people suffer from chronic headaches, while about forty-five million experience migraine headaches on a regular basis.

These headache sufferers and those who experience facial pain, sore jaws and even tinnitus assume that these are symptoms of some medical disorder. As a result, they often seek diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional to help them find relief from the debilitating pain. The patient or the physician may not suspect that jaw problems (TMJ) may be the underlying cause of the pain.

What do jaws problems have to do with dentistry?

TMJ is a term used to describe a disorder associated with the muscles of your temporomandibular joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. Symptoms can include:

  • jaw pain
  • headaches
  • facial pain
  • worn/eroded teeth
  • clicking or popping in the jaw
  • numbness or tingling in the arms and hands
  • neck and shoulder pain

Snoring and teeth grinding are also widespread among patients who suffer from TMJ disorder. Women tend to experience more pain from TMJ disorder, but men have more significant damage to their teeth bone and gums. The temporomandibular joint is a very complex joint, and its location is in an area of the body where many muscles, bones and nerves cross paths. A TMJ disorder is often caused by a bad bite or malocclusion.

Neuromuscular dentistry vs traditional dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry is the science of using the relaxed position of the muscles of your head and neck to put your jaw into the ideal position for comfort and function. It is also used to find the best jaw position before restorative dentistry to ensure longevity. Whereas traditional dentistry only looks at the jaw and the teeth, neuromuscular dentistry looks at the muscles that control the jaw and the nerves that control the muscles, and how this relates to the overall body.

Millions of people suffer from this chronic degenerative disorder without realizing the impact it is having on their well-being and how neuromuscular dentistry could provide the treatment they need to regain and retain good health.

Beat TMJ with technology

Neuromuscular dentistry relies on modern technology to treat TMJ more effectively.

  • A Computerized Mandibular Scan can pinpoint the movements of your jaw.
  • Sonography is used to detect the sounds associated with misalignments such as popping or snapping.
  • Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation, or TENS, works to soothe jaw muscles and reduce pain.
  • Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, and veneers, bridges and crowns repair damaged or decayed teeth, helping to restore your optimal bite position.
  • Orthotics can reduce jaw pressure or mitigate teeth clenching or grinding.
  • Orthodontics can realign your teeth to put your jaw back into a that is comfortable position.

Relieve TMJ pain with neuromuscular dentistry and get back to enjoying your life

Dr. Benjamin Polan is a dentist in Beverly, MA who is specially trained to thoroughly evaluate TMJ problems. Since every individual has unique needs that require different treatment approaches, every patient receives an individualized treatment plan tailored to meet those needs.

Patients who receive the proper corrective treatments benefit from improvements in chewing, breathing and possibly even speaking. Those who suffer from debilitating pain find relief once balance is restored to the mouth. TMJ treatment will help you enjoy a better quality of life and an overall enhanced appearance.

Life transforming dental solutions

By Beverly MA Dentist Dr. Benjamin Polan