Jaw Joint (TMJ) Can Cause Seemingly Unrelated Problems
The term “TMJ” is often associated with a long list of problems. From headaches and migraines to teeth grinding and clenching, TMJ disorder can be the originating source of some seemingly-unrelated issues.
TMJ is an acronym for the temporo-mandibular joint. These joints are in front of each ear and hinge the lower jaw to the skull. When functioning properly, the joints work in unison so chewing, speaking and other movements occur fluidly and harmoniously.
Ease of movement relies on a delicate balance, however. The most common cause of TMJ related problems are due to bite misalignment. When the upper teeth do not meet the lower teeth properly, stress or strain can be transferred to the jaw joints and surrounding muscles.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders are frequent headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints, dizziness, ear ringing and difficulty opening the mouth fully. One patient, Karen B., began noticing how her teeth were tightly clenched when she woke. She began enduring excruciating headaches, some that debilitated her for days at a time.
An examination showed Karen’s teeth were worn down from night-time grinding, a symptom of TMJ disorder. Additionally, her front teeth were beginning to protrude from the forces of her misaligned bite.
Bite alignment is such an important part of oral health. As a general dentist, I’ve always wanted to provide patients easy access to this advanced level of care. In addition to completing advanced training as a Neuromuscular dentist, I’ve incorporated modern technology to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders.
Because the symptoms of TMJ disorders can mask themselves as seemingly-unrelated problems, I know many go misdiagnosed and mistreated, often with strong prescription medications that come with a wide range of side effects.
For example, another patient, Elizabeth C., spent ten years seeking relief from frequent headaches and debilitating migraines. She had seen several doctors who all suggested a different cause, each recommending a different medication.
As with Karen, her solution began with a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. Because bite misalignment was the cause of TMJ disorder for both Karen and Elizabeth, we began by restoring their bites using crowns to create proper alignment.
Correcting bite alignment can be a simple process in some instances. Or, it can require the adjustments of all teeth. This was true for Karen, who shared, “Dr. Barbat pretty much made it a breeze to go through. Plus, I got a nicer looking smile at the same time!”
For patients with TMJ disorders, an accurate diagnosis through our advanced technology is the first step to resolving the problem for good. When we review diagnostic reports that show a patient’s jaw joints as the source of his or her symptoms, they feel a sense of relief just knowing their search is over.
If you are experiencing TMJ symptoms, let’s discuss resolving the problem through a treatment plan that is appropriate for your specific needs.
DR. BAN BARBAT Supports Area Youth
Scholarship Winner Announced
I am pleased to announce the 2017 Ban R. Barbat, DDS-PC Scholarship has been awarded to Eisenhower High School senior Isabella Lacavoli. Isabella will be attending the University of Michigan this fall to major in Biology in pursuit of becoming a Pediatrician.
$500 Savings Bond Awarded
To reward the hard work of area K-12 students, we invited those who received ‘A’ grades in the Spring 2017 semester to enter a drawing for a $500 Savings Bond. The winner was Olivia Morrison, a rising sophomore at Eisenhower High School. Congratulations!
This was an impressive look at our community’s students for all of us! We were pleased to enter so many hard-working students in this drawing.
2009 Scholarship Winner Update
We recently learned that our 2009 scholarship recipient, Mary Hauswirth, is doing her Pediatric residency at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC! Congratulations on your progress, Mary!
Sponsorship of Shelby Parks & Recreation Events
We are always happy to lend support to the talented team at Shelby Parks & Recreation. Some upcoming events we are helping to sponsor include:
Saturday, October 14 – River Bends Park
Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 9 – Shelby Community Center