The ATM is the joint that is located between the lower jaw and the temporal cavity (in front of the ear). In the presence of a morphological problem of the joint or a dysfunction of the masticatory function, physiological manifestations such as pain or crackles may be felt. More than half of the Canadian population is thought to have an ATM disorder, but only one in ten people would see a dentist for it.
There are some things that may be linked to the development of ATM disorders:
- Presence of a malocclusion
- Change of sides during chewing
- Loss of one or more teeth
- Trauma to the jaw
Other external phenomena can also trigger TMJ disorder such as fatigue, jaw injury, stress (frequent jaw twitching), cold and dampness, the habit of chewing gum or biting your nails, playing certain musical instruments, snorkelling, emotional shock, etc.
Bruxism and dental pain
Bruxism (teeth grinding) can be accompanied by waking headaches, temporomandibular joint pain, and even dental pain. To avoid abnormal wear of your teeth or certain damage such as dental fractures and cracks, the dentist can offer you an occlusal plate specially adapted to your teeth. This will help absorb the pressure exerted on the teeth and the ATM when you grind your teeth. The device, designed in a very resistant plastic, from the digital impressions of your teeth, will offer you great comfort and good protection. You will have to wear it overnight.
Want to learn more about ATM disorders? Contact us or discuss it with your dentist during your next visit.