Excellence in Dentistry Ltd

TMJ Headaches

TMD - Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (jawjoint problems / headaches / neck pain)

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the medical name given to the jaw joint. It is made up of the lower jaw (condyle) which articulates against a disc in a cup shaped depression of the skull (fossa) by the ear. If the lower jaw is displaced it can cause the disc to come away from it's correct position and dislocate, causing a clicking or grating noise when the mouth opens.

When the TMJ dislocates it can cause the symptoms of headaches, migraines, neck ache, tinnitus, fatigue and pain to name but a few. Patients will often grind their teeth at night, have difficulty opening wide, click or grate in the TMJ when opening and have some pain in the joint area itself in front of the ear.

The diagnosis is crucial in understanding and treating the problem and will involve muscle testing, ranges of motion, X-rays and possible Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Treatment can involve wearing splints and braces on the teeth to realign the jaw into it's correct position. In the majority of cases this eliminates all of the symptoms especially the headaches and migraines.

There is some exciting new research from Dr. Anthony Sims and Dr Brendan Stack in the US showing a possible correlation and link between TMD and "Tourettes Syndrome".

There is already an established connection between the TMJ and "Muscle Movement Disorder" - MMD (ie tics and repetitive abnormal muscle movements). The connection is thought to come from compression of the Auriculotemporal Nerve, when the condyle is set too far up and back in the fossa. This nerve pathway goes into the Cerebrum via the Reticulate Ganglion (like a junction box), where it seems there are aberrant crossovers with some of the other cranial nerves including the Optic (eye) and Glossopharyngeal (throat) nerve.

This could also explain the syndrome of Blepharospasm (chronic, repetitive and frequent blinking) and there is a connection with the voice (in Tourettes - barking, vocal uttering or coughing)

We have an excellent FREE booklet on this subject if you ask one of our receptionists. You may also find our special interest group (www.Jawache.com) and The British Society for the Study of Craniomandibular Disorders (BSSCMD) helpful.

Our customers

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  • Just to say many thanks for the Sleeper Appliance - I find it very comfortable, it has stopped my snoring (and improved my relationship with my wife)! As you know I do suffer from sleep apnoea and this is a really good way to fend it off and give me a good quality sleep
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  • Dear Andre, I am so thrilled with my veneers, everyone thinks that they look really wonderful. Thank you so much, your expertise is outstanding. The whole experience was so much easier than I imagined. My daughter’s even said that the temporaries were better tha
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    Louise
  • This is a unique dental practice. Andre is exceptionally kind, competent and thorough. From day 1, there has been complete transparency about the process (challenges/stages and prices). As a doctor suffering from TMJD, I’m so lucky to have been referred (whilst on
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    Best Dave
  • Dear Andre and Everyone at the Practice, Thank you for always looking out for me and making me feel so comfortable when I come and see all of you for my appointments! I feel like trying this treatment was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Roll on 2017 for
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    Grace
  • Many thanks to Andre, Constance and all the team for being so kind and efficient when I pulled off the veneer on my front tooth. I am so grateful and cannot thank you all enough. Best Wishes
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    Andrea
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A FULL range of treatments are listed in the 'Our Services' section of the navigation.
Please feel free to ask about these or other dental matters with any of our helpful staff.

26A Church Road, Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT23 3PW: Tel 01372 457959

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