TMJ / TMD
When the jaw is misaligned both the hard and soft tissues are affected and many physiological problems can result, such as:
- Headaches or migraines
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint
- Bruxism (grinding of the teeth)
- Jaw pain
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Tingling fingers
Physiologic dentistry uses the principles of physiology to resolve TMD, sometimes known as TMJ. This includes symptoms such as pain, tension or spasms of the head, neck or jaw, broken fillings, broken or chipped teeth and worn teeth. TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction) is a chronic degenerative condition that can take years to develop. It’s caused by a structural imbalance of physiology between the jaw and the skull.
If you suffer from TMD we can help you understand options for care – from adjusting your bite, to orthotics or orthodontics, to restoring your teeth to their correct position with advanced smile design.
Using state-of-the-art technology we determine if your symptoms are caused by malocclusion with your bite and if so, what your optimal position is. The painless procedure involves using computerized medical equipment that measures facial muscle activity and health. Tracing instruments record jaw movements and specifically locates the ideal jaw position where your bite is most comfortable.
Electromyography is used to measure your jaw’s muscle function in both its stressed and relaxed positions, and also measures the jaw-to-skull relationship to see if there’s a structural imbalance. Sonography records jaw joint sounds to detect any abnormalities. Additionally, x-rays of the jaw and neck may be taken to help evaluate the position of the temporomandibular joint and alignment of the cervical spine further assessing physiologic health.
Relieving Muscle Spasm and Pain
Our immediate concern is to provide you with some relief from your symptoms. We do this by using ULF-TENS (Ultra Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation) to gently massage your head, neck and jaw muscles. The rhythmic pulsing relaxes your muscles by increasing blood flow and pumping out waste products. ULF-TENS also helps with pain relief by stimulating the body’s production of endorphins, our own natural anaesthetic.
Stabilizing your bite
A temporary plastic device, known as an orthotic is worn over your teeth. The orthotic allows us to make easy adjustments to your bite without adjusting your teeth until your bite is stabilized. Once symptoms are relieved and the bite has been stabilized, we move on to the next step and permanently adjust the bite to the correct position.
Long Term Management
There are a variety of ways to correct your bite in a more permanent way, from orthotics or orthodontics, to restoring your teeth to their correct position with smile design or full mouth restoration.