Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jawbone to your skull. These joints get a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, let us know. Your dentist at Premier Dental can identify the presence of TMD and create an effective treatment just for you.
There are a few simple steps you can take at home or work to prevent TMD from becoming more severe, or to prevent it from occurring:
- Relax your face — remember the rule: “Lips together, teeth apart”
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Don’t cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder — either use a headset or hold the receiver in your hand
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin resting on your hand
- Practice good posture — keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
State-of-the-art technology makes it possible to diagnose TMJ and determine the proper alignment of your bite.
The K7 unit is used to track the position of your jaw precisely while opening, closing, chewing, swallowing, and at rest.
This measures your jaw-to-skull relationship and the electrical activity in the jaw muscles, thereby providing information about your muscle function while your jaw is in motion and when it is in a resting position.
This test records the sounds your jaw joint makes while in motion, and will pick up pops and clicks too subtle to be heard by the human ear.
Relaxing the jaw and stopping the spasms through Neuromuscular Dentistry
We use the TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) unit to relax your jaw muscles and stop painful spasms. TENS provides an electrical massage, relaxes specifically targeted muscles, and stimulates the production of endorphins — your body’s natural painkillers.
Correcting your bite
A temporary appliance is used gradually to adjust your bite.
Making the results permanent
Once we have established and gained your correct bite alignment, we can make the adjustment permanent by reshaping your teeth. This is done in different ways, depending on what will be most effective for you. It can include reshaping the enamel, or the use of crowns, bridges, or braces.