Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Undt
Specialist for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, TMD, facial pain and salivary gland diseases

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Woman with TMDTMD is the abbreviation for temporomandibular disorders, i.e. dysfunction of the craniomandibular or masticatory system. If one of the components of this system does not function properly, other components of the system may follow suit. The term TMJD stands for temporomandibular joint disorders.

For instance: many people respond to stress at work or at home by grinding their teeth (known as bruxism or clenching). When this happens, the brain tells the masticatory muscles responsible for chewing, to bite down on each other again and again. This does not only damage the teeth - edges can wear down or chip and fillings can shatter - but also causes pain in the overexerted masticatory muscles and in the temporomandibular joints. This pain in the masticatory muscles (myalgia, myopathy) and in the temporomandibular joint (arthralgia, arthropathy) will initially only occur when chewing hard foods or opening the mouth wide. As the problem progresses this pain can occur when chewing soft foods, or even when the jaw is not moving at all.

Sometimes this pain can be accompanied by ear problems or hearing problems. Patients complain of earache, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or problems when there is a change in pressure. Some patients even experience balance disorders. These phenomena can be explained by the fact that the temporomandibular joint and the middle ear are in such close proximity. Only an expert specialised in dealing with these disorders will know the complex interplay of factors and can interpret the symptoms properly.

If you think you might have TMD,  please answer the following questions:

•  Are you unable to open your mouth wide?
•  Does it hurt when you open your mouth wide?
•  Does it hurt when you chew?
•  Is there a click when you move your lower jaw?
•  Does you jaw sometimes jam when you move it?
•  Do you grind your teeth at night?
•  Do you often clench your teeth during the day?
•  Do you have pain in the cheeks and temples?

If you have answered yes to more than two of these questions, it is essential that you seek advice from a specialist for TMD. Professor Undt is specialist for temporomandibular disorders and he closely cooperates with a team of experts: Orthodontists, prosthodontists, neurologists, psychologists and physiotherapists. Because complex functional disorders afford optimal treatment of your individual problems.

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