TMJ and Neuromuscular Dentistry FAQs
TMJD and Neuromuscular Dentistry FAQ
What is TMJ?
TMJ is the acronym for temporomandibular joint(s). The TMJ is located just in front of the ear, where the jawbone connects to the skull on either side of the head.
What is TMJD?
TMJD is a painful disorder of the TMJ. TMJD often leads to a wide range of uncomfortable and disabling symptoms commonly mistaken for other conditions, like ear pain, arthritis or sinus problems.
What Causes TMJD?
The most common cause of TMJD is a bad bite, or malocclusion, where your jaw is out of alignment. This leads to the constant stress of the muscles, nerves, and connective tissue of your jaw.
What Are the Symptoms Of TMJD?
The most common TMJD symptoms include soreness of the jaw and teeth, as well as frequent, migraine-strength headaches. Sometimes symptoms also include frequent ringing in the ears (tinnitus), clicking or popping of the jaw, neck and back pain, and even pain and tingling in the arms or hands.
How Do I Know If I Have TMJD?
The only way to know for sure is to be examined by a neuromuscular dentist like Dr. George. If you have some combination of severe headaches and jaw or tooth pain, and your doctor cannot locate the cause or give satisfactory treatment, it is a good idea to see if you are suffering from TMJD.
How Does Dr. George Diagnose TMJD?
Dr. George utilizes advanced state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose TMJD. This can include computerized instruments like the Myotronics K-7, a device designed to measure and track jaw and muscle information to gather critical information about your bite, electromyographic muscle analysis, and sonographic joint analysis in addition to the joint X-rays.
How Is TMJD Treated?
The TMJD treatment 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 prevent further damage to the TMJs and your teeth. 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 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 Neuromuscular braces to move them into the correct position.
How Long Will My TMJD Treatment Take?
You should see rapid relief from symptoms, but the length of treatment depends on how the severity of the condition. When TMJD is caught early, most patients have a shorter course of treatment. If you suspect you have the symptoms of TMJD, please contact Dr. George today at 724-934-3422 to set up your initial consultation.