What is Craniomandibular Dysfunction?
In the ideal situation, the lower teeth would hold the lower jaw in a place where the muscles (that attach to the lower jaw) are relaxed and the lower jaw is centered below the base of the skull (Cranium).
Craniomandibular Dysfunction, also know as CMD, occurs when the teeth hold the lower jaw in a place that is NOT centered below the base of the skull (Cranium). This causes the muscles that attach to the lower jaw to be pulled in ways they are not supposed to be pulled. This causes the muscles on the side of face and in the neck to spasm. Patients who suffer from CMD will feel these muscle spasms as a headache, migraine, neck pain and back pain.
How do you diagnose Craniomandibular Dysfunction?
CMD is usually diagnosed based on the following symptoms:
- Neck Aches
- Back Aches
- Popping/Clicking in Jaw Joints
- Jaw Locking Open
- Jaw Locking Closed
- Ear Symptoms – Vertigo, Balance Problems
- Ear Symptoms – Full, Stuffy, Congested, Itchy Ears
- Ear Symptoms – Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Clenching or Grinding of the Teeth
Other things a dentist can use to diagnose CMD are teeth that are worn down, cracked or broken from clenching and grinding of the teeth.
Dr. Tamura is one of the few dentists in Southern California that has advanced training in the use of the Myotronics K7 computer system for the diagnoses and treatment of CMD. For more information on the K7 click HERE.
Dr. Tamura also has a special X-ray unit called the VaTech PAX-i3D, that can take a specialized Jaw Joint X-ray called a Tomogram. TMJ Tomograms are often used to diagnose CMD.
How do you treat Craniomandibular Dysfunction?
Because CMD is usually caused by the lower jaw not being “Centered” below the Cranium, the treatment of CMD is based on:
(1) Finding the place the lower jaw needs to be, to make all of the muscles that attach to the lower jaw “Relaxed” and comfortable. We call this place your “Neuromuscular Position”.
(2) Once we have found your “Neuromuscular Position”, treatment of CMD revolves around finding ways to hold and stabilize your lower jaw in this position.
To find out if you may suffer from Craniomandibular Dysfunction, click HERE.