TMJ Treatment and Occlusal Disease
Dentist in Chesapeake
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic headaches, facial, jaw and neck pain. In some cases, this pain is due to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) an imbalance in your occlusion (bite position).
What causes TMD?
- Injury to your jaw, TMJ, or the muscles of your head and neck; trauma or whiplash can also lead to TMD.
- Grinding or clenching your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint
- Perforation, Damage, or Locking of the Disc in your TMJ
- Arthritis in your TMJ
- Stress, which can cause you to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth
- Malalignment of your teeth can cause excess wear, deterioration of your teeth and TMJ
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in your jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in your ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when your jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of your face
- Muscle spasms in your jaw area
- A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
- Locked jaw or limited opening of your mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, talk with Chesapeake TMJ professional, Dr. Tanya Brown. She can help diagnose TMJ disorder, and create an effective solution just for you.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above and seek relief, Dr. Brown will probably begin with an occlusal analysis. Occlusal analysis is a method of recording your biting/chewing motion on a device called an articulator, which mimics your actual jaw movements.
To gather the proper measurements for this analysis, Dr. Brown records:
- Your relationship between your upper arch of teeth and your jaw joints (TMJ)
- How your upper and lower jaw and teeth relate together
This is one of the most important tools that Dr. Brown uses to assure proper bite and function of your teeth and jaw.
i-Cat Cone Beam 3-D Imaging System
The i-Cat Cone Beam 3-D Imaging System allows Dr. Brown to get 3-dimensional images of your entire oral and maxillofacial structures – in about a minute! What does this mean to you? Better imaging means Dr. Brown has complete information to use to design your treatment plan. It means more precise treatments and much better results! And for patients who have a dental phobia or sensitive gag reflex, this is also very good news because it’s much less invasive.
TMJ treatment commonly begins with splint therapy. This hard acrylic appliance is fabricated to fit snugly over either your upper or lower teeth. It becomes a temporary perfect bite for you. You will experience what a comfortable difference a stable, solid bite can make on your teeth, muscles and jaw. Many of the signs and symptoms of TMJ will likely diminish or even disappear. Recovery time depends on your situation and the signs and symptoms with which you started.
Following a new bite evaluation, Dr. Brown may suggest that your teeth be reshaped, called an “occlusal adjustment,” so that they move smoothly against each other and fit together in the same solid position that you felt using the bite splint.
Some patients with TMJ symptoms may be prescribed a nightguard. If you grind your teeth at night, if your teeth are visibly worn down, or if you suffer from headaches or jaw pain, you may benefit from a protective nightguard.
Dr. Brown will fit you with a custom-made nightguard appliance. The nightguard will reduce the damage to your teeth from grinding or clenching during sleep, and reduce any grinding-related symptoms.
Do you have TMJ? Take this Questionnaire to see if you should ask Dr. Brown about your painful symptoms.
Caring for Your Night Guard/Occlusal Splint