It’s All About The Disc!

Dr. Brown’s Suggested Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does TMJ dysfunction cause migraines/chronic headaches?

When the jaw bone is set back too far in the jaw joint, it can basically ‘pinch’ the nerves in that part of the joint and cause pain which manifests as headaches or migraines.

  1. What does TMJ dysfunction have to do with my ears ringing?

Once again, the jaw bone when set too far back or up into the joint can pinch and irritate nerve endings that are directly in front of the ear and can manifest as pain or even ringing in the ears.

  1. What could cause my face to be asymmetrical?

In many people, the eyes/ears are not level and this may be due to a cranial bone distortion. This can often be felt by the doctor when palpating the bones of the skull, and x-rays will often confirm this distortion. The cause of this problem is often due to an accident or even birth trauma.

  1. What is causing my jaw joints to make clicking/popping sounds?

Jaw joints will pop and click when the disc within the joint is pushed forward and either folds up on itself and makes a ‘popping’ sound when it slides around, or if there is bone to bone contact in the joints and the bones rub on each other.

  1. What could have caused my TMJ discs to be slipped in the first place?

Most of the time, the cause of disc slippage can be traced back to some kind of trauma – it could have been birth trauma, or the patient fell down the stairs at two years old and forgot about it. This is why we do not even like to hear that someone was slapped in the face- that little bit of trauma can cause the jaw bones to slip and push the discs out of place.

  1. How does the TMD affect other disorders like Dystonia & Tourette’s Syndrome? 

The concept here is that when the disc inside the jaw joint puts extraneous pressure on the nerves in the joint, this sends a noxious signal to sing an aberrant muscle response- in some cases a ‘tic’ – Tourette’s, in some cases the head tilts off to the side (dystonia).

  1. When do I or my practitioner know it is time for a referral to this office?

The best time to refer to our office is when you first spot the symptoms – inability to open the mouth to 50mm, pain in the joints, clicking or popping in the joints, headaches, tilted head, nervous twitches, neck pain, uneven eyes/ears

  1. Is there an age where I can see early symptoms of TMD present in my child?

We see children of all ages from 3 to 93 – it all depends on their symptoms and if they are ready to get better.

  1. Are there preventative measures for TMD?

Have your children screened early – our office is glad to do a no charge exam to help guide children and parents. If the potential patient snores, stops breathing at night, this is the time to come in and deal with it.

  1. Why wear a splint instead of getting surgery immediately?

A splint must be worn at least 4-6 months before even considering surgery since it will reduce inflammation and make the surgery go much better to produce better results.

  1. Is the material used with the splints safe for me?

All our materials either used in our office or at our laboratory are approved for use – the lab uses surgical grade materials and our acrylics are orthodontic acrylic.

The Case of the Breathless Breather

Today I would like to write about why breathing is so important to the human body. Too many people in this country have become mouth breathers and this creates many problems for their bodies. When we breathe through our mouth, the air is not as humid as if we breathed... read more

The Case of the Front End Alignment

Sometimes you just have to come up with an analogy to make a person understand what is going on. And sometimes you have to come up with more than one analogy to REALLY get them to understand. In my little world of treating TMJ disorders, I make it a point to try and... read more

The Case of Guy Who Waited Too Long

This is one of my short series on “It’s all about me today”. Look folks, I cannot work miracles. It’s as simple as that. Example: About a year and a half ago I met a new patient whose discs were terribly out of place and I felt really good that I could help him. Well,... read more