Do you suffer from jaw cracking, teeth grinding, frequent headaches, tension in the neck and back and pain in the masseter muscles or in the jaw, to name just a few symptoms? Often you also have tinnitus and dizziness? Then it is quite possible that you suffer from a so-called “ craniomandibular dysfunction” (CMD for short). But what is it?
CMD ( craniomandibular dysfunction)
The symptoms of CMD are complex and therefore often difficult to recognize, and patients usually only have the rather diffuse, general feeling that “something is somehow wrong with the jaw”. Although it is not a life-threatening disease, CMD is associated with pain and a significant impairment of the quality of life. The background is that our entire musculoskeletal system, the temporomandibular joints, the cervical spine, jaws and teeth, eyes and ears, back and legs and also our soul are all related to one another in some way. This is why CMD can cause a wide variety of complaints from sensitivity to light and eye flickering, neck pain and headache, toothache and chewing difficulties, swallowing difficulties, hip and knee pain to depressive moods, snoring and sleep disorders. The tricky thing is that you don’t necessarily suspect CMD, for example, if you suffer from hip pain, but rather localize the problem in the region of the body that is directly painful.
The causes of CMD are at least as diverse: A generally high level of stress, incorrect sitting and head postures, grinding of teeth (bruxism), incorrect bite position , misaligned teeth , etc.
What can we as an orthodontic practice in Berlin Mitte do about it? First of all, we analyze in detail a possible jaw misalignment and tooth misalignment, which on the one hand can be the cause of the complex symptoms of a CMD, but also a consequence. Depending on the result of the analysis, we will discuss the next steps with you. Under certain circumstances, it is sufficient if individual teeth are ground down and / or the patient is given an occlusal splint , which he wears especially at night, so that tooth damage caused by grinding teeth at night is absorbed and the pressure that is exerted on the teeth and temporomandibular joints is alleviated. Often the symptoms improve, because the biting force of the human jaw is enormous. You have to imagine that it can move the equivalent of up to 80 kg. A bite splint can therefore be a great relief.
However, more extensive measures may also be necessary, which we will clarify with you on a case-by-case basis. These depend on whether and to what extent jaw and tooth misalignments are present and how these can best be corrected.
But even if it is not a CMD, but you often suffer from individual phenomena such as headache and neck pain, or nocturnal crunching, jaw cracking, etc., it can be very informative to take a closer look at the jaw and teeth track down unpleasant symptoms. Ideally, you can intervene before damage occurs to the teeth, the jawbone and the musculoskeletal system.
Often a collaboration with a physiotherapist who specializes in CMD is also desirable. The entire musculoskeletal system is examined to determine where the problem is coming from. The physiotherapeutic treatment must be coordinated on a case-by-case basis.
On the other hand, it is not advisable to “treat” yourself with painkillers over the long term. The common pain relievers available without a prescription such as ibuprofen, paracetamol or acetylsalicylic acid can permanently cause serious damage to health such as kidney damage, liver damage, stomach damage, etc. Painkillers should therefore only be an occasional stopgap solution to bridge the gap until the treatment takes effect or if the pain gets really bad.