TMJ & Neuromuscular Dentistry
What is TMJ?
The Temporo-Mandibular Joint(s), where the jawbone connects to the skull on either side of the head.
What is TMD?
TMD is a disorder of the TMJ, leading to a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms commonly mistaken for other maladies.
What causes TMD?
The most common cause of TMD is “bad bite,” or malocclusion, where your jaw is out of alignment. This leads to constant stress of the muscles, nerves, and binding tissue.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
The most common TMD symptoms include soreness of the jaw and teeth, as well as recurrent, migraine-strength headaches. Sometimes symptoms also include frequent ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and pain and tingling in the arms or hands.
How do I know if I have TMD?
The only way to know for sure is to be examined by a neuromuscular dentist like Dr. George. If you have some configuration of severe headaches and jaw or tooth pain, but your doctor cannot locate the cause or give satisfactory treatment, you should get checked out by a neuromuscular dentist to see if you are suffering from TMD.
How do neuromuscular dentists diagnose TMD?
Dr. George utilizes advanced equipment to diagnose the disease. This can include computerized jaw tracking instruments, electromyographic muscle analysis, and sonographic joint analysis in addition to the more conventional dental x-rays.
How is TMD treated?
The basic procedure is broken into three steps. First, Dr. George will seek to relieve your pain and symptoms over the short-term. Then she will stabilize your bite to ensure the condition does not worsen. Finally, she uses long-term treatment options to permanently correct your bite. She may use some combination of the following:
- Coronoplasty—In this process, she reshapes your tooth enamel to help slightly misaligned teeth fit better.
- Removable overlays—She may give you permanent orthotics that fit over your back teeth to maintain bite alignment.
- Reconstruction—In this procedure, porcelain crowns are placed on teeth to make them higher and better-fitted to provide structural support for the jaw.
- Orthodontics—If your teeth are healthy, Dr. George may recommend braces to move them into position.
How long will my treatment take?
You should see rapid relief from symptoms, since that’s our priority, but, the length of treatment depends on what needs to be done, and it can range from a few days to as much as a few years in the case of orthodontics. If Dr. George diagnoses the problem sooner, you will have a shorter course of treatment. If you suspect you may be suffering from TMD, please contact Dr. George today to set up your initial consultation.