Sleep disorders cause all sorts of problems, and are more common than most people realize. Dr. Jennifer J. Cornell, DDS, at Dental Sleep and TMJ Solutions of Clarksville has answers to some of the questions that come up about the conditions preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Question: I have been told I have TMJ. It really hurts. What can I do about it?
Dr. Cornell: It is incorrect to use the phrase “TMJ” to describe a disorder of the temporomandibular joints. When someone’s knee or hip hurts, they are not told by their provider, “You have knee joint” or “You have hip joint.” It is more accurate to tell a patient they have TMD (temporomandibular disorder or dysfunction) or even better TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunction). Regardless, dysfunction of the TM joints can be painful and cause quality of life issues.
The temporomandibular joint is a unique joint in our body. One of the smallest, it is also one of the most complex. It not only hinges when you open and close your jaw but also translates as you open wide. It is also very close to other structures that use similar nerve pathways, so symptoms can be confusing, often making a person feel a bit “NUTS” or “not understand their symptoms.”
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