Live pain-free for life!

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Treatment

Through a series of about 5 appointments we can help correct your bite…

TMJD

For many people, living with TMJD is a lifelong challenge and requires ongoing tmjd treatment to keep you in balance and prevent painful symptoms from reoccurring and interrupting their quality of life.

Through a series of about 5 appointments we will take the time to learn about your current condition and configure a specific tmjd treatment plan just for you!  We need to learn about your journey, other doctors and methods that you have tired to help with your TMJD, and we also evaluate the muscles of the head and neck and posture…

You deserve to live a pain-free life.

We offer several tmjd treatment options to keep you comfortable, and keep your jaw in the long run. Schedule your consultation today!

Schedule a consultation

TMJD Treatment Options

Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your TMJD symptoms, you may benefit one or more of these options:

  • Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR)
  • Orthotic appliance
  • Crowns
  • Braces

Orthotic Appliance

A semi-permanent solution to your jaw discomfort. They are removable, but may be worn up to 24 hours a day. Orthotics are designed to move the lower jaw it proper neuromuscular position and reduce painful TMJD symptoms.

Crowns

We offer patients both crowns to restore the entire mouth or partial crowns to restore specific mouth areas. Crowns can help to keep painful symptoms of TMJD and other jaw disorders at bay restoring your teeth to the pain-free position of an orthotic, but are not removable. Crowns are an excellent option for many patients with a history of grinding and worn teeth because they can help restore tooth structure lost to excessive wear – and they also give you a beautiful smile in the process!

Braces

Not your traditional braces! Our approach to orthodontics considers how your teeth and jaw should function, not just how your smile looks. The objective of our braces treatment protocol is to move the teeth and remodel your jaw and bone structure so to a more comfortable – and permanent – position.

Customized TMJD Treatment Timelines

1st Appointment

Consultation

Anticipate about 2 hours for this visit. Dr. Alexandra strongly suggests that you bring someone with you to this appointment due to the amount of information that is reviewed. During this visit any necessary x-rays and photographs will be taken.

Also, a detailed medical and dental history will be reviewed. We need to learn about your journey, other doctors and methods that you have tired to help with your TMJD. We also evaluate the muscles of the head and neck and posture.

2nd Appointment

Orthotic Work Up

2 hour appointment to assess jaw and neck muscle activity, jaw movement, and joint function utilizing our computer technology the K-7. Also, localized x-rays of your joint and Cephalometric films are taken.

3rd Appointment

Bite

2 hour appointment,Includes 1 hour U.L.F. T.E.N.S. therapy. Dr. Alex will determine your proper bite/jaw position based off of your muscles and current jaw tracking. This appointment is utilized to make your orthotic.

4th Appointment

Orthotic Fit

2 hour appointment, includes 1 hour U.L.F. T.E.N.S. therapy. Your teeth will be cleaned prior to placement and Dr. Alex will fit your new orthotic. Instructions and care will given.

5th Appointment

Follow-up & Care

As your jaw structure begins heal and improve its function and balance, and as your posture improves, adjustments to your bite and/or your orthotic will be required to continue to provide balanced support. Appointments are as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Some symptoms include aching pain in and around the ear, facial pain, locking of the joint, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, headaches/migraines, neck pain, ringing in the ears, clenching, grinding, ear congestion, loose or tender teeth, and trouble sleeping.

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. Alex. 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. Alex diagnose TMJD?

Dr. Alex 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 CBCT X-rays.

How is TMJD treated?

The TMJD treatment procedure is broken into three steps. First, Dr. Alex 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 tmjd treatment options to permanently correct your bite. She may use some combination of the following:

  • Disclusion Time Reduction (DTR)—In this process, Dr. Alex uses advanced technology with Tekscan and EMG tracking to provide the data needed to reshape tooth enamel to help slightly misaligned teeth fit better.
  • Removable or fixed orthotic—She may give you a diagnostic orthotic that fits over your teeth to maintain bite alignment.
  • Full Mouth 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— Dr. Alex may recommend Neuromuscular braces or Facial Growth Orthodontics to remodel the maxilla and move the jaw and teeth into the correct position.
How long will my TMJD treatment take?

Every patient’s response to tmjd treatment is different. On average, most patients will see some type of change or relief 1-2 months into treatment. Sometimes it is a more gradual progression depending on the severity of symptoms.

Is TMJD a serious problem?

TMJD can become a serious problem when left untreated, leading to chronic pain, sleep apnea, depression, and anxiety. Often it is misdiagnosed and patients find themselves visiting multiple doctors getting no answers or relief.

What does TMJD pain feel like?

TMJD pain can present itself in many ways. Some symptoms include aching pain in and around the ear, facial pain, locking of the joint, difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, headaches/migraines, neck pain, ringing in the ears, clenching, grinding, ear congestion, lose or tender teeth, and trouble sleeping.

How do you permanently treat TMJD?

While some tmjd treatments provide short-term relief from pain, they do not directly address the root cause of TMJD. The only way to permanently treat TMJD is through treatments that move teeth and jaw to the right position and align the bite. Dr. Alex will focus on treating the cause of TMJD symptoms with the goal of eliminating or reducing pain.

Is TMJD a medical or dental problem?

It can be both a medical or dental problem, depending on the root cause of it. For example, arthritis is a medical condition that can lead to TMJD while a misaligned bite is a dental problem that can cause TMJD symptoms.

How is TMJD diagnosed?

TMJD can be diagnosed with dental X-rays, a CT scan, and an MRI to reveal problems with the jawbone, joints, and surrounding structures.

How can I reduce my risk for TMJ disorder?

The root cause of someone’s TMJD is sometimes difficult to determine and can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, injury, dental work, and other medical conditions. There is really no way to reduce your risk for TMJD, but there are things you can do to prevent and minimize the pain:

  • Stick to soft foods and avoid sticky or chewy food
  • Do stretching and massaging exercises
  • Be mindful of the resting position of your jaw
  • Reduce stress
  • Correct your posture
Can TMJD go away on its own?

If it’s a minor case or caused by stress, TMJD may go away on its own. However, serious cases of TMJD will likely need some type of therapy to resolve or reduce the problem.

What happens if TMJ disorder is left untreated?

When TMJD is left untreated, it can cause chronic pain, inflammation, and sleep apnea. Dealing with pain and fatigue can lead to depression, anxiety, and impacts one’s quality of life. TMJD can be like a roller coaster – sometimes symptoms can be calm and tolerable; however, if left untreated, they usually come back in time.

You deserve to live a pain-free life. Contact us today to set up an appointment!

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