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TMD / TMJ Disorder Treatment for Frequent Headaches, Jaw and Neck PainMarch 2, 2012
What is TMD therapy?
TMD (tempo mandibular joint disorder) therapy involves assessing your current jaw position. Your bite is simply the position of your jaw when your teeth are together. Until recently, most dentistry has been based on the assumption that wherever your bite was naturally, was the correct position. This is considered “one-dimensional” dentistry. Today, neuromuscular dentists go beyond this and consider the entire system that controls the positioning and function of your jaw – the teeth, muscles and joints. (insert picture of the muscles + teeth + joints image)
Neuromuscular dentists seek to establish a harmonious relationship among these three main factors, resulting in a “happy” jaw position for you. We will explain how we can help non-surgically below.
- Emotional Stress
- Bad bite
When you first visit our neuromuscular dentist, you may be asked if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Clenching or grinding
- Jaw clicking/popping
- Ear related problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Worn teeth
- Painful muscles
- Pain behind eyes
- Difficulty opening & closing mouth
- Ringing in ears
- Tingling hands or fingertips
- Limited mouth opening
- Ear congestion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loose teeth
- Facial pain
- Sensitive teeth
- Chewing difficulties
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Chipped teeth
- Postural problems
- Hot and cold teeth sensitivity
- Nervousness or insomnia
- Snoring and sleep apnea
In addition, the dentist will be looking for a number of signs in your posture, appearance and condition of your teeth, and existing bite that might aid in diagnosis of TMD. An imperfect bite often plays a significant role in these conditions and the dentist may be able to resolve the problem, and relieve your discomfort within two weeks.
Diagnostic casts – we will create models of your teeth so the dentist can study the tooth structure and arrangement of your teeth
Muscle relaxation – it is almost impossible to achieve true muscle relaxation by just asking someone to relax their muscles. Instead, we use a TENS machine to deliver gentle electrical stimulation to increase the blood flow to your muscles and help them reach a relaxed state. After 30-60 minutes, this exercise will allow your muscles to overcome their programming and go to a state of physiologic rest.
Bite registration – once your jaw is in a relaxed position, we will place a putty material between your upper and lower teeth to create a bite registration. Once it hardens, we will send it to our lab to create a custom orthotic for you.
Interim TMD Treatment (Phase 1):
Once the dentist determines the perfect position for your jaw, an orthotic is fabricated to maintain that position. It is worn for a prescribed period (usually a few months) of time as a method to treat TMD symptoms or as an interim step to verify that the diagnosed new bite is correct before anything permanent is completed.
Long-Term TMD Treatment (Phase 2):
In some cases, the dentist will ever so slightly grind off a high spot or shape your teeth to permit your teeth to come into their proper position. In other cases, patients opt for crowns and veneers because their own teeth have been worn down so severely. Others opt for orthodontics, dentures or implant supported dentures.
Talk to us today about getting pain relief and finally resolve the root of the problem for your headaches, jaw and neck pain. Start the conversation now by calling 1-877-943-2976 or reserve your free consultation here.