TMJ Dentist Charlotte NC North Carolina Jaw Joint Damage
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Instability hurts and causes damage.
TMJ Jaw Joint Damage:
How the teeth hit each other affects the jaw joint structures. I am constantly educating my Charlotte NC are patients on this fact. The bite or occlusion can benefit the jaw joints (TMJs) or it can damage them. Ideally, all Charlotte NC dentist/dentists should know how to diagnose the condition of the TMJs before commencing treatment. When the occlusion or bite is working against the jaw muscles it is called Occluso-Muscle Disorder.
Note: bite guards and store purchased soft guards will also result in damage to the TMJs as well.
A dissected healthy jaw joint showing the slippery disc between the bones:
The following diagrams show how a healthy mandible and disk moves in a coordinated manner during opening:
In a healthy joint and balanced bite, the disk is between
the upper and lower bones in the TMJ (red lines line up).
For approximately the first 1/3 of opening the condyle
only rotate in the joint and stays in the same position:
As the jaw continues to open the condyle translates
forward and down and the disk remains between the bones.
At full opening the condyle moves forward and down more
while the disk stays between the bones. The opposite
movements of the condyle and disk occur during closing.
A healthy and undamaged disc.
A disk damaged from occluso-muscle disorder or unbalanced bite.
The amazing thing is that highly inflamed, infected and damaged tissue like the above damaged disc, does not usually cause pain. Like periodontitis, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease and other disease that cause chronically inflamed tissue, it does not hurt until major damage is done. In the mean time, the painless chronic inflammation is slowly "killing" you.
One common outcome of joint damage is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease:
The following is from the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
"Osteoarthritis is caused by 'wear and tear' on a joint.
- Cartilage is the firm, rubbery tissue that cushions your bones at the joints, and allows bones to glide over one another.
- Cartilage can break down and wear away. As a result, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Bony spurs or extra bone may form around the joint, and the ligaments and muscles around the hip become weaker and stiffer."
Damaged TMJs (jaw joints) are chronically inflamed. All chronically inflamed tissue in the body eventually becomes infected with microbes:
Microbes and inflammatory chemicals from damaged oral structures leach into the blood stream to cause inflammation and damage to the rest of the body: