TMJ or more properly known as TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) addresses a broad array of symptoms that may arise when the jaws, head and neck muscles, and teeth become unbalanced in relating to each other.
There are actually HUNDREDS of signs and symptoms associated with TMD. With so many symptoms many of which overlap into different medical specialties, it is no wonder that there is great confusion as to how to treat this widespread debilitating disorder.
Some common symptoms include:
- Migraine pain
- Facial pain
- Jaw joint pain
- Back and neck pain
- Forward head posture
- Pain in the back, sides, and front of the head
- Pain or pressure in the eyes
- Pain or pressure in the ears
- Clenching and grinding your teeth
- Jaw locking open or closed
- Ringing or other ear noises
- Light sensitivity
- Temperature sensitivity in your teeth
- Sinus like symptoms
- Dizziness or Vertigo
- Clicking or other sounds with opening/closing of your jaws
- Abnormal tooth wear near the gum line
Most importantly, many TMD sufferers have reduced blood flow to the brain, as well as a diminished airway often leading to sleep/breathing disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, and other sleep problems are examples.
Dental Schools for the most part teach a mechanical concept focusing on the relationship of the teeth fitting together and the jaw bone position in relation to the skull. What is often lacking is the science and physiology of the muscles and other tissues affecting the bones and tooth position.
Since the muscles of the head and neck are all related to or affected by the bite or jaw relationship, it is critical to consider muscle comfort in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients who suffer with bite problems.
The type of dentistry which takes into account, all three of the components listed alone. Namely, the teeth, the jaw joint (TMJ’s) and the muscles and other soft tissues, is know as Physiological Dentistry.
Physiological Dentistry utilizes bio-electric equipment in the dental office to find a more complete diagnosis and accurate dental records.
You may say, "So what? What does this mean for me?" It means that you will be able to experience optimal function and comfort, and a smile that will look its best, because the person behind that smile will no longer be suffering.
Causes of TMD
Airway Obstructions: Tonsils and adenoids can become enlarged, blocking to some degree a patient’s airway. Without thinking, we just adapt to this interference. The adaptation process may result in a shift in the jaw position adding stress to the jaw joints, teeth and muscles.
Trauma: Trauma can be obvious. It can also be microscopic and unseen. It can accumulate over time, regarding multiple traumatic events throughout life which build upon each other over time.
Poor Posture: Over time, the consequences of poor posture can be as detrimental as an injury. Forward head posture retrudes the lower jaw, and places excessive stress on the neck and shoulder muscles.
Improper Occlusion: Also known as a “bad bite.”
Treatments we provide include:
- Customized Orthotic to balance the bite
- Trigger Point Injections
- Spray and Stretch
- Stress Counseling
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation).
- Relaxation Techniques
- Nutrition Counseling
For Potomac Falls, Leesburg, Reston, Great Falls, and neighboring communities, our Potomac Falls, VA dental office offers Physiological dentistry for TMJ therapy. Physiological Dentistry utilizes computer analysis in our dental office to find a more complete diagnosis, hightened function and a comfortable bite. It's all about getting the bite right!
To make an appointment for your next checkup, cleaning, or problem visit, contact us.