Temporomandibular Joint syndrome (TMJ), also known as TMD, causes symptoms that range from dull pain to excruciating pain. Some people suffering from severe TMJ cannot eat foods that require chewing or opening the mouth wide enough to bite. Our doctors are specifically trained in Gneuromuscular (GNM) dentistry. You will be in excellent hands for obtaining definite information, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for TMJ.
Some indications that you may have TMJ syndrome include:
- Pain and/or limited ability to open the mouth
- Headaches, teeth, jaw, facial and even neck, shoulder and back pain
- Clicking or popping noises in the jaw joint
- Worn, cracked or loose teeth
- Teeth that are sensitive or painful
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Vertigo (dizziness)
What Exactly is TMJ?
The two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of the head, can be felt by putting a finger in front of each ear and opening your mouth. They consist of a ball and socket separated by a cartilage disc. When considering the TMJ, our dentists not only look at the joint itself, but also at the muscles, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves. This system makes it possible for us to open and close our mouth and these components usually work effortlessly with one another when we eat, speak, smile, laugh and yawn. When one or both becomes problematic, we tend to suffer.
Gneuromuscular dentists refer to the act of closing the mouth as our bite or occlusion. Many times, the condition causing TMD originates from a misaligned bite – a malocclusion. Our dentists will determine if it is, indeed, your bite that is causing your TMJ discomfort. Once TMD has been determined, your TMJ pain can be relieved and a treatment decided upon.
Goals of Gneuromuscular (GNM) Dentistry
A gneuromuscular dentist focuses on the muscles, teeth, nerves and joints that allow your jaw to move. This field of dentistry is based on the understanding that these must be in a healthy position to avoid tension with the occlusion (how the teeth fit together when you close down). Therefore, the number one goal is to find the ideal, relaxed position of your jaw joint and muscles and then train your jaw to achieve that position at all times.
A gneuromuscular dentist utilizes advanced technology to record your jaw movements and to identify its ideal resting position.
- Sonography: This records jaw sounds. Jaw sound recordings help determine the type of sound in your jaw joint, and the location. Clicking, grinding, popping, grating and scraping sounds may be identified to isolate particular problems with the function of your jaw joint.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (TENS): By stimulating the jaw muscles using this method, lactic acid is flushed out and your muscles will be infused with fresh blood and oxygen. This allows your muscles to relax.
- Electromyography: This is a technical monitoring of the tension in your muscles. Electromyography allows your muscles to be recorded and your bite to be measured to see if there is an imbalance.
We are here to help identify and correct your bite problems so you can live with a dazzling, pain-free smile. Please call our office and schedule a consultation today.