Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
One of the most complicated joints in the body
The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is where your jaw connects to the side of your head. It needs to be able to move up and down and side to side, as well as handle the enormous forces that the jaw can exert. It one of the most complicated joints in the body, with a specialized structure and tissue makeup.
You’re Not Alone
If you are having pain or other problems with your jaw, you’re not the only one — an estimated 10 million Americans also suffer from TMJ issues.
TMJ problems can be chronic and debilitating, and if left untreated can lead to other symptoms like migraines and tinnitus. Fortunately, there are now non-invasive and drug-free ways to resolve imbalances in the TMJ.
Jaw, Face, Neck, or Ear Pain
The many nerves present in the jaw can result in pain appearing in nearby areas, and can cause pain or tenderness in different locations even if the jaw itself does not hurt.
Limited Range of Motion
If the jaw does not move as far or as easily as it usually does, it might be a sign of problems with the TMJ. Other common symptoms include the jaw locking in an open or close position, as well as clicking or popping noises during movement.
Bite Force Analysis
Your jaw is one of the most complex and delicate joints in the human body, and our T-Scan technology can objectively determine if there are any imbalances in the way that it moves.
A measurement device gathers detailed information about the various forces at work throughout your mouth, and our analysis software allows your TruDenta specialist to create an accurate 3D digital model of the way that these forces are distributed.
Studies have shown that it is the most accurate device of its kind, and it is this accuracy that helps our specialists effectively locate and treat dental imbalances.
Range of Motion Analysis
If your head and neck are not moving comfortably, it could be connected to subtle problems with your jaw.
Your TruDenta specialist will perform a Range of Motion Analysis to compare the movement of your head and neck to the healthy human average, and highlight any irregularities that might be related to issues with the jaw.
This exam provides detailed digital measurements exactly where your range of motion is decreased, allowing for increased accuracy and focus during treatment.
Headache History Form
Tell us your story. Many headache and migraine sufferers have been struggling with their symptoms for years, and we want to know the details — your past history of symptoms helps your TruDenta specialist make a better diagnosis and apply a more focused treatment plan.
If you’re experiencing soreness in specific areas of your face or neck, you have already experienced the existence of what are called “trigger points.”
Trigger points manifest as knots or bands in the muscle, and can often cause pain to manifest in other locations.
Active trigger points are actively referring pain and cause noticeable discomfort, while latent trigger points cause stiffness and restricted motion. Through a thorough myofascial muscle palpitation exam, your TruDenta specialist can locate the latent trigger points to be focused on during physical therapy
Head Health Questionnaire
Trauma to the head, neck, face or jaw is more common than you might think — it can be caused by anything from orthodontic work to mild sports injuries.
Knowing your history helps your TruDenta specialist identify and rule out likely causes of your headaches by looking for certain events that are statistically more likely to cause dental imbalances.
The goal of therapeutic ultrasound treatment is to return circulation to sore, strained muscles through increased blood flow and heat, and to use sounds waves to break up scar tissue and deep adhesions.
Therapeutic exposure to ultrasound reduces trigger point sensitivity and has been indicated as a useful clinical tool for managing myofascial pain and has been shown to evoke pain-inhibiting effects on trigger points.
Trigger Point Therapy
The existence of active and latent trigger points can be painful and restrictive, as well as interfering with the normal functioning of the jaw and neck.
The TruDenta progressive physical therapy process treats these symptoms through gentle stimulation of the musculature, reducing muscle tension and clearing the way for further rehabilitation.
Microcurrent therapy applies a painless low-level electrical current to areas of pain or sensitivity, which reduces the spasms of inflamed muscles, stimulates the nerves, and reduces lactic acid build up.
It is particularly effective in restoring normal range of motion to patients whose dental imbalances include restricted jaw movement.
To promote healing of the chronic inflammation and pain caused by long-term dental imbalances, part of the TruDenta therapy system uses low-level cold laser therapy.
The painless treatment is shown to decrease pain, accelerate healing of muscle and joint tissue, as well as improve range of motion.
TMJ Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have TMJ?
Answer: One of the most common causes of chronic headaches results from a TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) dysfunction. There are some basic symptoms that tend to occur with most patients who think that they may have a TMJ problem. These include clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint near the ear, difficulty in opening and closing the mouth, pain on opening and closing (chewing), ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness and generalized pain in the facial muscles. Commonly TMJ patients also complain of a variety of headaches which are often represented as migraines, tension or cluster headaches etc.
Answer: There are a variety of conditions that can lead to TMJ problems. Sometimes accidents or falls, even years ago, can throw off the balance of the facial muscles which can result in a TMJ dysfunction. Remember, the TMJ is the only joint in the body that is bilateral, compared to say the knee joint which is unilateral (works on one side only). Other causes of TMJ can be as simple as poor dental restorations that cause you bite to shift resulting in muscle imbalances that can last for years. Additional strain or trigger points in muscles outside of the TMJ can also cause pain and headaches mimicking TMJ pain. Finally, there are a small percentage of cases where actual physical changes in the TMJ such as osteoarthritis can cause TMJ malfunction leading to pain. These case sometimes require surgical intervention or some other form of therapy.
Answer: The answer is a resounding yes. Years ago TMJ treatment was somewhat limited. Diagnosis was basically made based upon symptoms and some simple radiographs. Most patients received a cookie cutter approach that typically included long term medication, long term dental splints or both. Sometimes surgery was indicated but rarely.
Today, the treatment of TMJ is totally different. We now have computerized diagnostic tools that can pinpoint the issues involved not only in the TMJ but for chronic headaches as well. We then can specify dedicated treatment based upon the results of our diagnostic survey. All of these diagnostic tools are FDA approved and treatments are non-invasive, pain-free and do not require long term medication or dental splints.
Range of Motion Analysis
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If you’re looking for chronic headache relief and have tried a wide range of alternatives such as Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Neurology, ENT, TMJ Treatment and even such alternatives as Botox without much success, you need to give us a call today. Our treatments have been proven to be 93% successful where we are able to accurately diagnose the cause for the pain and discomfort. We use computerized technologies, many of which are approved by the AMA and FDA to make sure that we are able to help you start living a normal life again.
So, give us a call at (516) 741-2313 and let’s set up a Complimentary Consultation so we can see if we can help you start enjoying life again.
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Looking for a top rated dentist in La Mesa? You’ll be happy to learn that our highly experienced dentists have the experience to keep you comfortable. Contact our team for a consultation today to find out how our team of family and expert dentists can help.
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Trinity Family Dental