A condition affecting the jaw joints and the surrounding facial muscles, TMJ disorder, also called TMJ dysfunction and TMD, can stem from a number of possible causes. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) most often originates as a
neuromuscular problem. It can occur as a result of dislocation or
injury, genetic discrepancies, and sometimes it can be linked to
arthritis. Often, TMD is associated with stress.
Stress, which causes you to grind and clench your teeth, can place pressure on the TMJs. This tightening of the facial muscles most often occurs during sleep, but can also happen during the day and place a continuous strain on the jaws. Damage to the temporomandibular joints, such as that sustained from a blow to the face, disk erosion, or cartilage wear from arthritis, can also cause improper functioning of the jaw. Likewise, a misaligned bite can place undue strain on the jaw joints and make everyday oral functioning difficult and painful.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder:
- Tenderness of the jaw and jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Pain in and around the ears
- Chronic headaches
- Clicking or popping noise when you open your mouth or yawn
Symptoms vary from person to person. Other
combinations of symptoms include muscle spasms, fractured or loose
teeth, ringing in the ears, difficulty swallowing, earaches, and the
inability to chew, bite or open your mouth.
How We Approach the Treatment
Dr. Gotun utilizes splint and laser therapy,
using different splints that serve specific purposes to address problems
that manifest themselves due to the way the teeth come in contact with
each other. Laser therapy works to instantly reduce inflammation, reduce pain and discomfort and alleviates many other TMJ disorder symptoms. There are many possible causes of such imbalances, and some
of them can be partly or completely corrected. To do this, we use splint
therapy of different levels. A splint is a highly accurate therapeutic
plastic mouthguard specifically designed for you to restore a resting
balance of the muscles in the masticatory system with the precision
within 5/10,000“. The splint treatment often is followed by an
equilibration (grinding of the surface of the teeth where needed to
correct the imbalance) or by rebuilding the teeth with crowns, or both.
The good news is that no matter
the mildness or severity of TMJ disorder conditions, there may be ways
to approach the problem and achieve a positive result. If you suspect
you have a TMJ disorder, or have been given a diagnosis that you do, the
sooner you make the decision to do something about it, the more likely
you will be to achieve a favorable outcome. The keys to success are a comprehensive approach to treatment and full cooperation and commitment from the patient. The
right combination of treatment options, addressing contributing
factors, and changes in one’s lifestyle can do miracles for even the
most seemingly hopeless conditions.
Relief for TMJ Disorder in Austin, TX
Dr. Gotun is well known for his
expertise in TMD treatments, and there is no doubt that choosing our
practice to help you is a great first step. We have the knowledge,
expertise and experience in helping cases like yours. Dr. Tor Gotun is one of fewer than 200 dentists in North America to receive the Lifelong Learning & Service Recognition award from the Academy of General Dentistry and is dedicated to providing the most advanced treatments for TMJ disorder in Austin. If you suspect you have the condition, contact us at Austin Smile Creations as soon as possible to schedule your appointment.
Dr. Gotun's approach to my TMJ problem went beyond the dental norm. He looked at it at a head problem first, looking at all possibilities. Other dentists wanted to break my jaw. He finally decided on a slow alignment approach. He even sent me to a chiropractor first, just to rule out spinal problems.
5 / 5 stars