TMJ Diagnosis

TMJ Diagnosis

TMJ Diagnosis and treating TMJ disorders

TMJ Diagnosis

TMJ Diagnosis and treating TMJ disorders

Dr. Benjamin Polan does TMJ diagnosis in Beverly, MA

TMJ Diagnosis and treating TMJ disorders

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint that connects your lower jaw to the temporal bones placed on the sides of your head. Movements of the temporomandibular joint are regulated by accompanying jaw muscles placed close by. There are various causes of TMJ disorder which cause numerous different pains and symptoms. Teeth grinding is a popular cause of TMJ disorders; it is a habitual act that slowly grinds down and dislocates ligaments that hold the joint together. A TMJ disorder can also appear after the joint is injured by impact, or for any reason that areas of neighboring jaw bones begin to erode and cause misalignment.

TMJ disorder diagnosis

Due to the numerous causes and symptoms of TMJ disorders, it would be ineffective to have a standard test to diagnose a patient with a TMJ disorder. Symptoms only determine if you are suffering from a TMJ disorder in the first place. Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include, but are not limited to:

  • Painful or painless clicking, grating and popping in the jaw joint
  • Changes in the alignment of the upper and lower teeth
  • Jaw muscle spasms
  • Jaw locking
  • Affected posturing
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Limited jaw movement and stiffness
  • Jaw, face and neck pain

If you experience any of these symptoms, a TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA begins to rule out other conditions to determine if a TMJ disorder is the culprit for your suffering. Once it has been determined that you have a TMJ disorder, there are various treatments ranging from preventative actions to surgery.

Simple Treatments

In the beginning, your dentist is likely to recommend that you take preventative actions such as avoiding gum chewing, wide yawning and eating soft foods to avoid the potentially temporary discomfort of a TMJ disorder. Along with preventative measures, simple actions such as applying ice packs to the jawline and the use of over-the-counter inflammatory pain medicines also help with TMJ disorder comfort.

Relaxation and jaw stretching techniques can also be added to your pain relief regiment. Reduction of stress lessens tension in the jawline, and employing stretching techniques allow for wider jaw movements without experiencing pain.

Appliance Treatments

Stabilization sprints are often used for TMJ disorder treatments. They are used to prevent teeth grinding and offer pain relief from jaw clenching, especially at night. These mechanisms, often called night splints, are effective, but are not designed to change your bite. When a permanent change in your bite is required, orthodontic braces can be employed to permanently rearrange your bite. Braces are placed on your teeth for up to 24 months to gradually change your bite to prevent TMJ disorder pain.

Cosmetic Treatments

At times, the uneven shape of your teeth or gaps in your jawline due to lost teeth are the key reasons for jaw misalignment. Crowns and dental veneers balance the shape of your teeth if they have been damaged by teeth grinding, cavities, old crowns or injury.

Implants and bridges replace any missing teeth that cause bite rearrangement. Use of these cosmetic treatments correct uneven teeth and place your jawline back in sync. Once your jawline is stabilized, your TMJ disorders are reduced significantly or eliminated.

Surgery

Surgery is the last resort for TMJ disorder relief, and is only used when a patient is suffering from severe pain or lockjaw that is unresponsive to prior treatment. The following surgeries are the most common for TMJ disorders:

  • Arthrocentesis- The simplest form of surgery. A procedure that injects a saline and steroid formula into the jawline to unstick cartilage.
  • TMJ microsurgery- A more advanced surgery that repairs the temporomandibular joint through a small incision in the ear.
  • Open surgery- A more open incision is used near the ear to remove a larger amount of damaged cartilage near the temporomandibular joint.

It is best to visit a TMJ dentist as soon as you notice any changes in your bite and feel any discomfort in your jawline. Thankfully, the craft-work of jaw muscles and joints are complex and often used so discomfort is quickly noticeable to notify you of any malfunction. An experienced TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan deals with TMJ disorders by helping you understand every step of the process, avoiding complicated issues and unnecessary discomfort.

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NOTE: Waiting will make things worse, or more expensive.

TMJ Neck Pain

TMJ Neck Pain

TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain

TMJ Neck Pain

TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain

Is neck pain related to TMJ? Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA has the answer

TMJ and related neck and shoulder pain

Temporomandibular joint disorder, called TMJ, negatively affects one of the most important joints in the body. The jaw can have some surprising and severe effects on the surrounding areas of the face, neck and can worsen drastically overtime if left untreated.

Causes of TMJ

There are numerous causes of TMJ, but most commonly they are related to whiplash neck injuries, jaw injuries, or severe grinding of teeth – possibly due to stress or simple genetics. Other potential causes of TMJ include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis which can affect the health of the temporomandibular joint as well as other joints in the body. Whatever the case, TMJ isn’t something you want worsening, so make sure to see a TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA.

How surrounding muscles are affected

When the temporomandibular joint is misaligned, injured or compromised in any other way, you may require extra effort to chew, talk or even yawn. Since the jaw muscles are capable of only so much effort, other muscles of the face, neck and even shoulders must be recruited to make up for the difference in strength required. Of course, even though these muscles are connected to the jawbone, they aren’t really designed for this task. Over time, it can become very painful and exhausting for these muscles to compensate in this way, just as a hip may become painful when a person is limping to compensate for a bad knee.

How TMJ neck pain is diagnosed

Usually the pain of TMJ leads a patient to a doctor to rule out other disorders that have the same symptoms. If other causes have been ruled out, such as sinus problems or gum disease, a dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the patient’s jaw.

If several of the symptoms have been occurring for a significant amount of time along with limited movement or clicking of the jaw, and the symptoms are severe enough to be a problem for the patient, effective treatment options will be recommended. TMJ neck pain can be a very distressing part of daily life and should never be taken lightly. For those who are searching for an experienced TMJ dentist in Beverly, MA, Dr. Benjamin Polan has a warm, friendly and caring staff that can help with all of its associated symptoms.

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NOTE: Waiting will make things worse, or more expensive.

Facial Pain

Facial Pain

TMJ can cause facial pain

Facial Pain

TMJ can cause facial pain

Dr. Benjamin Polan faces off with TMJ facial pain in Beverly, MA

TMJ can cause facial pain

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint formed when your lower jaw bone fits into a shallow basin at the base of your temporal bone, allowing you to open and close your mouth. Many of us are aware that a misaligned TMJ can give us headaches, but it’s connection to the rest of the body can cause numerous other symptoms, especially pain around the facial area.

How is this facial pain caused?

Cranial nerve number seven (CN VII) is your Facial Nerve protruding from a tiny opening in the base of your skull located very near to the TMJ. It then sends branches to the muscles of your face that allow you to make different facial expressions, such as frowning, smiling and laughing. It also sends signals to the glands that form tears, your salivary glands, and the roof of your mouth and tongue.

Since CN VII also carries inward bound sensory information back to the brain, it carries pain signals, information about taste, and information about the position of your tongue and jaw back to the brain.

Dr. Benjamin Polan from Beverly, MA tells us the classic example of pain associated with the CN VII is Bell’s Palsy, in which infection by the Herpes Simplex virus causes inflammation of the facial nerve, which may lead to drooping eyelids, sagging jaw, loss of the sensation of taste and constant formation of tears on the affected side of the face. This may be accompanied by terrible pain if something even lightly touches the area.

Since the CN VII leaves the skull so near to the TMJ, problems with misalignment of the TMJ can lead to symptoms such as a terrible toothache or earache, or just general facial pain on one or both sides of the face. A TMJ dentist can help to diagnose your TMJ facial pain and take steps to correct the problem.

Treat the cause, not the symptoms

Dr. Benjamin Polan specializes in dental procedures for a variety of conditions in his office in Beverly, MA. His staff provide a warm, caring atmosphere in which you can feel comfortable and safe while being treated, and he has successfully treated many patients who experience facial pain due to underlying TMJ problems.

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NOTE: Waiting will make things worse, or more expensive.

TMJ Headaches & Migraines

TMJ Headaches & Migraines

TMJ Can Cause migraines or headaches

TMJ Headaches & Migraines

TMJ Can Cause migraines or headaches

TMJ Headaches and Migraines? Wake up from the nightmare with Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA

TMJ Can Cause migraines or headaches

Suffering from chronic headaches and migraines is a waking nightmare, especially when nothing you do seems to help. This is commonly the case when people are actually suffering from a TMJ problem, which appears to be completely unrelated. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the point at which your lower jaw connects to the rest of your skull. It may seem rather inconsequential, but in reality a misaligned TMJ can cause numerous health problems, especially chronic headaches and migraines.

How can my jaw cause my TMJ headaches & migraines?

When the TMJ is misaligned the muscles around your mouth, lips, tongue, and teeth tighten and strain to compensate and adjust for the misalignment. When the tightening of the muscles around the TMJ start to affect the nerves running around your facial organs it can cause severe headaches or migraines, in addition to other painful symptoms.

Some may feel that their headaches are due to stress or tension, especially if they’re dealing with problems at work, poor sleep, or other stressful situations. For this reason, they often spend far too much time trying to medicate with painkillers when they should be contacting their dentist for procedures that can help realign their jaws and ease their symptoms.

If you suffer from chronic daily headaches or migraines, contact a TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA to see if your TMJ could use a readjustment. Any TMJ problems you might be having may include various other symptoms, so be sure to let your dentist know exactly where the pain is, its duration and frequency, and any problems or discomfort you may be having with your jaw.

Treat your TMJ and eliminate your headaches

If you’re suffering from TMJ pain or fatigue, clicking in your jaw, and headaches or migraines, book a consultation with Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA. A qualified and caring TMJ dentist can help ease your symptoms with a series of tailored treatments that can eliminate the pain for good, allowing for permanent and sometimes immediate relief. Nobody should need to suffer from a misaligned TMJ which is completely out of their control.

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NOTE: Waiting will make things worse, or more expensive.

What is TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry?

What is TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry?

The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry

What is TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry?

The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry

Dr. Benjamin Polan explains the science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry in Beverly, MA

The science of TMJ (neuromuscular) dentistry

Many people find it extremely difficult to enjoy everyday activities because of a painful condition such as a headache, earache, sore ear or an aching neck. It has been estimated that more than twenty-eight million people suffer from chronic headaches, while about forty-five million experience migraine headaches on a regular basis.

These headache sufferers and those who experience facial pain, sore jaws and even tinnitus assume that these are symptoms of some medical disorder. As a result, they often seek diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional to help them find relief from the debilitating pain. The patient or the physician may not suspect that jaw problems (TMJ) may be the underlying cause of the pain.

What do jaws problems have to do with dentistry?

TMJ is a term used to describe a disorder associated with the muscles of your temporomandibular joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. Symptoms can include:

  • jaw pain
  • headaches
  • facial pain
  • worn/eroded teeth
  • clicking or popping in the jaw
  • numbness or tingling in the arms and hands
  • neck and shoulder pain

Snoring and teeth grinding are also widespread among patients who suffer from TMJ disorder. Women tend to experience more pain from TMJ disorder, but men have more significant damage to their teeth bone and gums. The temporomandibular joint is a very complex joint, and its location is in an area of the body where many muscles, bones and nerves cross paths. A TMJ disorder is often caused by a bad bite or malocclusion.

Neuromuscular dentistry vs traditional dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry is the science of using the relaxed position of the muscles of your head and neck to put your jaw into the ideal position for comfort and function. It is also used to find the best jaw position before restorative dentistry to ensure longevity. Whereas traditional dentistry only looks at the jaw and the teeth, neuromuscular dentistry looks at the muscles that control the jaw and the nerves that control the muscles, and how this relates to the overall body.

Millions of people suffer from this chronic degenerative disorder without realizing the impact it is having on their well-being and how neuromuscular dentistry could provide the treatment they need to regain and retain good health.

Beat TMJ with technology

Neuromuscular dentistry relies on modern technology to treat TMJ more effectively.

  • A Computerized Mandibular Scan can pinpoint the movements of your jaw.
  • Sonography is used to detect the sounds associated with misalignments such as popping or snapping.
  • Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation, or TENS, works to soothe jaw muscles and reduce pain.
  • Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, and veneers, bridges and crowns repair damaged or decayed teeth, helping to restore your optimal bite position.
  • Orthotics can reduce jaw pressure or mitigate teeth clenching or grinding.
  • Orthodontics can realign your teeth to put your jaw back into a that is comfortable position.

Relieve TMJ pain with neuromuscular dentistry and get back to enjoying your life

Dr. Benjamin Polan is a dentist in Beverly, MA who is specially trained to thoroughly evaluate TMJ problems. Since every individual has unique needs that require different treatment approaches, every patient receives an individualized treatment plan tailored to meet those needs.

Patients who receive the proper corrective treatments benefit from improvements in chewing, breathing and possibly even speaking. Those who suffer from debilitating pain find relief once balance is restored to the mouth. TMJ treatment will help you enjoy a better quality of life and an overall enhanced appearance.

TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE TODAY

NOTE: Waiting will make things worse, or more expensive.