Often referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, TMD or TMJ, problems in this joint can manifest in a variety of ways.
What is TMJ?
Chewing is such an important aspect of your continued well being that our brain automatically corrects the lower jaw position to provide for efficient chewing. This is true even if the correction causes us pain. This process can contribute to TMJ and is what neuromuscular dentistry is designed to address.
TMJ has a number of symptoms which are also indicators of a range of issues. This can make correct diagnosis of TMJ problematic. That’s why you should see a TMJ specialist if you think you may be suffering from the condition. The Doctors at Aesthetic Family Dentistry are experts in the field of TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ include; facial pain, migraines, jaw pain, back and neck pain, lockjaw, pain chewing, tension headaches, clenching of the jaw and insomnia. There are many more symptoms, but you get the idea. As you can see, all these symptoms could easily be signs of many other health problems.
How We Identify TMJ
We use technology and experience to correctly identify TMJ as the source of many issues. We use:
Sonography to measure vibration in the joint.
Electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle activity around the jaw.
Kinesiography to analyze muscle and jaw movement.
TENS to relieve pain and help adjust muscle position.
We also use observation, experience and every tool we have to correctly identify TMJ. It’s a long, involved process but we’re very good at what we do.
Treatment of TMJ
Neuromuscular dentistry is used in the treatment of TMJ. Once correctly diagnosed, we use a variety of methods to treat the cause and symptoms of the condition.
Our first task is to reduce pain. We usually achieve this by adjusting your bite with a type of aligner called an orthotic that slightly adjusts the position of your jaw to move it into a more natural and comfortable position. We use Electromyography to identify the best position of the jaw and make a orthotic to fit your mouth perfectly.
Bite adjustment is often enough to address TMJ and using the orthotic can be treatment enough. It may be that you need only wear the orthotic for a few weeks to “train” your body to shift your bite. Sometimes, you may need to wear it long term or permanently. This depends entirely on your musculature and how serious the TMJ is.
Occasionally, further dental procedures such as veneers or orthodontic treatment may be necessary. As neuromuscular dentistry experts, we can identify and discuss these options with you if they become necessary.
Aesthetic Family Dentistry will also provide a range of holistic treatments to complement the medical ones. Those treatments can include the use of chiropractors, physical therapists, neuromuscular massage therapists and acupuncturists. These have proven themselves exceptionally effective at treating discomfort as a result of TMJ.
Aesthetic Family Dentistry has extensive experience in neuromuscular dentistry and the treatment of TMJ. Our success rate is high and our customer satisfaction is exceptional.
If you’re concerned about the condition and think you may have it, contact Aesthetic Family Dentistry for a consultation.