TMJ Disorders & Treatment
TMJ refers to the temporo-mandibular joint which is located just in front of each ear.
These two joints are responsible for all the opening, closing and other movements of our jaw. TMJ disorders involve both these jaw joints and the muscles of the head, neck and face.
Typical symptoms include:
- pain or pressure behind the eye
- ear aches
- ringing in the ears
- neck pain or tension
- clicking or grating noises in the jaw joints
- tired jaw muscles.
The primary problem may be in the joints themselves, the muscles of the face and jaw or a combination of these. Thorough examination and advanced computer testing are combined in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.
A highly sensitive computer sensor “hears” and analyzes any vibration made in the joint as you open and close your mouth. Study models are made and mounted on an instrument which stimulates the movement of the jaws. TMJ tomogram x-rays can be taken by a dental radiologist to determine if the joint relationship is abnormal. If so, a correction template is made using the study models and another TMJ x-ray is taken to verify that the new position will improve the condition.
Treatment is individualized as every person presents with a unique condition. Sometimes the treatment involves bite adjustment (removing tiny layers of tooth structure where the upper and lower teeth interfere with each other). Other times the entire position of the lower jaw needs to be modified. This can be done by wearing a clear orthodontics device over the teeth, usually the lower teeth only. In other cases, orthodontic correction or building up the teeth using crowns may be the treatment of choice.
In almost all cases conservative, non-surgical treatment can be provided allowing the teeth, the muscles, and the joints to all work together in harmony.
Once we release tension in our mouth, our headaches often disappear. We work with facial exercises and often with a specialized bite plate over several appointments. Your facial muscles will have less tension and by doing daily muscle releasing for yourself, you will have more energy and you will be less stressed.