Neuromuscular Dentistry and TMJ Disorder
What is TMJ?
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, refers to the small set of hinges that connects your lower jaw to your head (you can feel them right in front of your ears). These allow you to move your mouth fluidly whenever you speak, eat, laugh, or yawn.
Like other joints in your body, they can sometimes become strained or injured, leading to something called a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Symptoms of TMD are very wide ranging, including everything from a stiff and sore jaw to chronic migraine headaches. Often, people with TMD are completely unaware of it because the pain it causes can seem to be completely separate from the jaw.
In order to diagnose and treat this kind of issue, Dr. Scott Quandt has studied neuromuscular dentistry, which is a discipline that addresses the teeth, jaw, head, and neck as one cohesive unit. Often, if an issue affects one, it affects the others. If you are suffering from any TMD related problems, he’ll be able to quickly identify them and offer you an array of treatments that will help relieve your pain.
The Impact of TMJ Disorder (TMD) on the Body
Many people suffer from a number of symptoms that are related to the alignment of their jaw. If the TMJ joints are misaligned, patients can experience one or more of the nagging, sometimes debilitating, symptoms listed below:
- Migraines or chronic headaches
- Chronic earaches
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Inability to fully open and/or close the mouth
- Pain in the head, neck, shoulders, or lower back
- Facial or jaw pain
- Teeth grinding and tooth wear
- Tingling fingers
Surprising Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Many people are aware that TMJ disorder can cause jaw clicking and pain as well as limit how wide you can open your mouth. You might also be surprised to find out that other pain and symptoms can also be linked to TMJ disorder, including headaches, ear pain and/or tinnitus (ringing in your ears), vertigo, back pain, and other problems. Misalignment of the jaw can even worsen sleep apnea.
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can often come and go. Many notice that they are more pronounced during times of stress because we tend to clench our teeth when under pressure or when dealing with anxiety. Dr. Quandt and his team can help you with a variety of treatment options for TMJ disorder.
Treating TMJ Disorder
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, Dr. Quandt will assess your TMJ alignment. He may use a TENS unit to stimulate and relax the jaw muscles, which allows the jaw to rest in a natural and optimal position. Next, with his K7 machine, Dr. Quandt can record the jaw's proper position. Then, he will create a custom oral appliance to realign the jaw joints. In addition, we may also recommend specific exercises that can be performed at home to treat TMJ disorder as well.
Why Work with Dental Designs by Quandt?
At Dental Designs by Quandt, we offer a variety of family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, and neuromuscular dentistry treatment options to suit your needs. We always consider your overall health when making treatment recommendations. We would be happy to offer a TMJ consultation to help you overcome TMJ disorder symptoms. All you need to do is contact us today.