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.

TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE TODAY

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.