TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) Disorder
Do You Have?
- Frequent Headaches or Migraines
- Painful Jaw Joints
- Pain in the Face, Neck and Shoulders
- Face or Neck Pain
- Uncomfortable, Uneven or Painful Bite and Inability to Chew
- Chipped, Worn or Broken Teeth
- Grinding or Clenching
- Clicking or Popping Jaw
- Ringing Ears or Vertigo (dizziness)
- Difficulty Opening and Closing the Mouth
- Tingling Hands
The TMJ refers to your jaw joints, which are positioned in front of your ears and connect the lower jaw to the skull. There are many causes of TMD (TMJ Disorder), such as grinding and clenching of teeth, an injury, and emotional stress. However, the most common cause is a ‘bad bite.’
Findings published by the Academy of General Dentistry reveal about 75% of all headaches are caused by muscle tension, many of which are bite related. For this reason, Dr. Barbat has devoted many hours in continuing education in diagnosis and treatment for true sufferers of problems associated with the TMJ and bite misalignment.
A bite problem often exists when teeth are missing, misaligned, or worn down, preventing the upper teeth from fitting correctly with lower teeth. This forces the jaw to shift position and the muscles to work harder to bring the teeth together. And, when you are not chewing, your jaw muscles may not fully relax, even though they feel normal to you.
The constant strain on the muscles can pull the disc that cushions the jaw joint out of position. If this happens, the bones of the jaw joint can rub against each other, causing pain and damaging the joint.
Diagnosis and treatment
Millions suffer from TMD but don’t always associate their symptoms with TMD or receive necessary modern treatment. TMD affects more than twice as many women than men.
For an accurate diagnosis, we use advanced technology and skills to measure the function of your jaw muscles and the movement of each jaw joint. Depending on the situation, this technology may include:
CONE BEAM 3D – This intricate imaging provides ideal assessment of the jaws and evaluation of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Through these images, we often find the root cause of pain that can’t be seen on conventional x-rays, minimize treatment and even eliminate the need for additional x-rays. Tap here to learn more
BIOPAK – This system records the functions and congruity of the upper and lower jaw, jaw joints, and associated muscles at various ranges. This information is a significant aid in proper diagnosis and treatment planning for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. Tap here to learn more
TEKSCAN (T-Scan™) Digital Occlusal Analysis – The ultimate in evaluation of one’s ‘bite,’ this method shows where bite contact is made as well as when and with how much force. T-Scan is the only technology that shows the measured force and the timing of occlusal surfaces coming together. Tap here to learn more
Chronic pain disorders can often lead to high chronic stress. TMJ disorders can result from how we adapt to this stress. In our Shelby Township dental office, we find that NuCalm helps patients disconnect from this stress response during diagnostic procedures and treatment.
Nucalm is an alternative to other medications used for stress and anxiety, offers a healthy method of turning off excessive sympathetic stimulation associated with stress. It works by turning off the body’s fight or flight response, which is triggered when we sense fear, stress or anxiety.
By suppressing these impulses, Nucalm eases stress or anxiety. It provides total relaxation without side effects or recovery time needed. Tap here to learn more
True findings without guesswork
From these advanced measures, we are able to determine if your jaw joints and/or bite misalignment are the source of your problems. If so, we can advise you on appropriate treatment options to resolve your issues in an effective and efficient plan.
Very often, conservative treatment is sufficient for relieving stress on these joints. This may be in the form of a mouthpiece, which is custom-fitted for optimal comfort and does not interfere with sleep. Other adjustments may involve realignment of the bite with minor reshaping of specific teeth. In some cases, bite adjustments require restructuring through crowns.
If you have symptoms of TMJ Disorder, begin with a Complimentary Consultation with Dr. Barbat to discuss your situation and resolving your problems – for good!