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TMJ is an acronym. It stands for Temporomandibular Joint. This might sound like a complicated anatomical term, but it’s much easier to understand when it’s been broken down:
This refers to a skull bone called the temporal bone. There is a temporal bone in front of each of your ears, just below the level of your eye socket. In order for your mouth to work, this bone must be connected to another bone.
You might have heard the word “mandibles” in relation to insects and other creatures. However, humans have mandibles too – our jawbones. Like many mammals, our lower mandible moves while our upper jaw is a fixed part of our skull. For our lower mandible to do its job, it must be connected to the temporal bone.
This is what makes the whole system work. When two bones come together, a joint is required. The joint between the temporal and mandibular bones is a kind of ball-and-socket connection, and allows rather surprising freedom of movement. We can move our lower jaw up and down, of course, but we can also use sideways and forward motions. For comfortable movement, this joint features a “disc,” or a sort of soft pad, which allows the bones involved to move comfortably against each other.
When something in this fails to work properly, you end up with a temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
The TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Utah, under the direction of TMJ specialist Dr. Michael Bennett, is a unique Utah sleep center. We are totally focused on helping people with TMD, craniofacial pain, and sleep-disordered breathing. Our practice is focused on treating these issues, along with complex orthodontic issues and related conditions.
The temporomandibular joint is incredibly important to your life. The ability to move your lower jaw freely is critical for talking and eating, of course. However, the TMJ can have effects far beyond these two areas. A temporomandibular disorder can cause you pain at the joint area, just as you would expect. Chronic headaches, like migraines, can sometimes be caused by disorders of the TMJ.
Even more surprising is the range of medical complaints (beyond pain) that TMD can be involved in. For instance, some people with chronic dizziness have had their temporomandibular joint as the source of the problem. In other cases, TMD has caused hearing difficulties. Sleep apnea (the stoppage of breathing while asleep) can be brought on or aggravated by disorders of this type.
This might sound like a lot of bad news, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Michael Bennett, DDS, MAGD, is a TMJ doctor in Utah who has tremendous experience in recognizing and effectively treating problems caused by TMJ disorders.
If you have some seemingly unsolvable complaint (especially pain) that is in your shoulders or above, please call us right now at (801) 691-0457 for a complimentary consultation. Because when it comes to TMJ disorders, there really is no time to be wasted. The sooner it is discovered and treated, the sooner you will be able to enjoy a big improvement in your quality of life.
When you visit our office, we address your sleep disordered breathing and craniofacial (head and face) pain extensively. The TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Utah is one of only 11 specialized centers of this type throughout the world. Dr. Bennett utilizes the most advanced diagnosis and facial pain treatment methods available to provide you with relief that is long lasting.
We also offer orthodontic treatments to address the more complicated cases of jaw pain, to the typical child’s orthodontic needs.
We proudly serve, Salt Lake, Provo, and Orem, Utah. For more information, kindly visit our Contact page.