Tempromandibular Disorder (TMD) is a complex, multifaceted condition that effects the TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint); the bony articular surfaces of the skull and mandible, the muscles that facilitate movement of  the mandible, the teeth that limit furthur closure and the nervous system that co-ordinate the complex movement of the mandible. 

Apart from trauma to the joint such as direct force or an indirect blow secondary to an accident,  the most common cause of TMD is microtrauma to the joint.  Microtrauma or commonly dental bruxism or clenching is the repeated grinding of your teeth, often at night.  This is referred to nocturnal bruxism;  is involuntary and is centrally mediated by the central nervous system (CNS).  Research concludes the most common causes are anxiety, stress, pain (postural) and Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB).  People actually grind their teeth so they can maintain an airway.

The disease profile includes, but is not limited too:

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Limited opening of the jaw, locking of jaw position in open / closed position
  • Jaw pain, Jaw joint noises - clicking, popping & grating
  • Headaches, Kneck & Shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus, ear congestion
  • visual disturbances
  • periphral tingling in the upper extremities
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Poor Posture - lower back pain, head posture
  • Generalised fatigue, lethargy
  • Sleep disorders

Treatment of the condition involves a thorough history of the condition, an examination including range of motion, postural evaluation, cranial nerve evaluation, muscle palpation and a detailed assessment of your autonomic nervous system through evaluation of your motor reflexes.

Discuss your problem with Townsville Dentist - Dr Matthew J Casey


Have you noticed that your teeth are sensitive? Jaw clicking? Or experiencing headaches? You may be suffering from a jaw joint problem, poor posture or even worn out teeth. We can help. At Casey Dentists, it's teeth for life.

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