TMJ is commonly called in the public TMJ, that's the temporomandibular joint. This joint. In dentistry we talk in terms of TMD, TMD is temporomandibular disorder. We find it's a disorder and it is an area that I have a lot of training in. I've spent a lot of hours. I've gone to an institute where I took hundreds and hundreds of hours to graduate this institute, learning about TMD and how to help patients with their jaw and their bite. The philosophy that I believe whole heartedly in is called neuromuscular dentistry. We try to find a balance, not just with the teeth but with the muscles and the joint and try to build everything in harmony.
It's very common in our society. Stress has brought out a lot of trouble with teeth and patients live longer. Patients have a lot of stress in their life. Accidents. Another big problem that we see is braces. Patients having braces early in life and it's not for everyone but for certain individuals, if they move those teeth out of balance, yes they might be straight but now they're not working in harmony with the muscles. Then we have patients that are developing TMD.
With our TMD patients they may or may not have joint clicking. They often have headaches. That's usually what they're coming to me for. They have a lot of neck strain and even down into the shoulders. We find as we go through our therapy and our treatment as we restore that balance back into how one jaw relates to the other, these symptoms start disappearing. You get rid of the noises here. You get rid of the headaches. You get rid of the neck problems and the shoulder problems. The posture becomes better.
I have different ways that I treat them. Usually we're going to start with something very conservative. We don't want to go in and do anything to their teeth and change. We want to do something, usually with the use of a plastic splint we call an orthotic, just like you'd put an orthotic in your shoe to give you better posture. We're going to put an orthotic over your teeth that's removable, that will help me start understanding where your bite and where the balance of your jaw should be.
TMJ disorder is a problem for many people. Finding solutions for your TMJ issues is only a phone call away. Let Dr. Rod Gleave and his staff at our Salt Lake City, UT dental office help you get past the TMJ pain you are suffering from and get back to living pain-free once again.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint and refers to the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When people talk about having TMJ, they are actually referring to TMJ disorder. These disorders can cause pain and discomfort in your jaw and generally make life difficult.
What causes TMJ disorder?
Injury or trauma to the area is one of the biggest contributing factors to the development of a TMJ disorder, but this is not a definitive cause. Some people injure the area and don’t develop a TMJ issue. Grinding your teeth (bruxism) is another way you can injure your TMJ and cause a disorder. Grinding your teeth puts a lot of undue stress on the joint and may also injure your teeth in the process. An improper bite is another major contributing factor.
Does TMJ cause headaches and migraines?
Many people do not know that headaches and migraines may be triggered by their teeth. One of the major areas we evaluate during an examination is the bite, muscles, and jaw joint. Many people have an imbalance in this system of teeth, muscles, and TMJ. Consequently, there is a breakdown. The teeth may become excessively worn as patients grind or clench their teeth, which often leads to stress in the muscles. This stress triggers the headaches. We have the training and equipment to evaluate this.
How can Dr. Gleave help me?
If Salt Lake City, UT dentist Dr. Gleave determines your jaw pain and/or headaches are a result of an improper bite, he will most likely prescribe an orthotic. This thin plastic retainer snaps over the lower teeth to recreate a new bite. You will wear the appliance for several months to see whether the bite position reduces or eliminates your headaches and pain. After we find the most comfortable bite position, we can proceed to make it permanent with several different treatments.