TMJ – Skull Shape

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TMJ 101 in Edmonton

When asked what makes a smile unattractive, many people respond, “missing teeth.” Missing teeth are on display whenever you talk or smile. With proper care, dental implants can be long-lasting, effective replacements for missing teeth.

Skull shape can have consequences for your jaw joint

Unfortunately, not every skull is perfect. Life certainly has it’s ups and downs and, throughout the course of yours, you may have encountered an event that impacted your skull and altered its shape. Here are a few instances of how a life event can cause your skull to shape shift.

Injury or trauma

A blow to the head can cause damage to the jaw joints along with the skull. Whiplash, or anything that impacts how you carry your head on the top of your neck, can cause jaw problems.


Being born is no easy task. The journey a baby takes from the uterus through the narrow birth canal can result in a great amount of force placed on the baby’s skull. This is especially true when the delivery is in a head-first position.
While nature does its best to mitigate the pressure with a soft and pliable skull, if the pressure was intense – every birth is different – it could result in a misalignment of your baby’s jaws bones.


Since every part of the skull is interconnected – bones, muscles, ligaments and joints – any alteration during the growth and development of your baby’s skull can result in misalignment of the jaws, and an early onset of TMJ.

When a jaw misalignment occurs in a baby or small child, it often goes unnoticed until the child can communicate the symptoms they are experiencing.

Dental treatment can help resolve TMJ pain

No matter what your age or the age your child, if you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to TMJ, the first step is to try and determine the root cause. To accomplish this, your dentist needs to conduct a thorough examination. After reviewing the results, your dentist should be able to devise a plan outlining your treatment options.

Your TMJ examination will probably include:

  • Your full medical history
  • A jaw alignment and range of motion test
  • Your skeletal structure
  • Your dental structure
  • A neurological examination
  • Other diagnostic tests, as recommended

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When it comes to treating a TMJ disorder, or any other medical or dental issue, the less invasive the treatment the better. After all, “first do no harm” is part of the Hippocratic Oath. That’s why we’d like to remind you that the information presented here should not be considered medical advice. To make sure you get the best care for your jaw joint problems, please seek advice from your physician or dentist.

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