Updated: Dec 13, 2018
Joint syndrome or dysfunction known as TMJ or TMD refers to the symptoms that develop when teeth, facial muscles, and temporomandibular joints are out of alignment.
TMJ or TMD is widespread ailment in North America
Most North Americans suffer from TMJ to some degree, and never suspect that their pain or symptoms are caused by problems with alignment in their jaw. It is the most often misdiagnosed ailment, and many people with TMJ are never treated correctly as a result.
Symptoms can include:
Headaches / migraines
Neck and shoulder pain
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Loose teeth (not caused by injury)
Sensitive and sore teeth
Worn or cracked teeth
Limited jaw movement or locking jaw
Clicking or popping in the jaw joints
Numbness in fingers and arms
If you are diagnosed with TMJ, we can determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs.
Typically treatment will follow three steps:
1. Relieve Muscle Spasm and Pain
The immediate priority is to provide relief of your symptoms. We relax muscles with a gentle massage of the muscles using ULF-TENS (Ultra Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation). The rhythmic pulsing relaxes the muscles by increasing blood flow and pumping out waste products, plus stimulates the body’s production of endorphins, a natural anesthetic.
2. Stabilize Jaw Alignment
Generally the next step is to fit you with a temporary device, an orthotic, to be worn over your teeth. We then make adjustments to re-shape the orthotic without adjusting the teeth until the bite is stabilized. Once symptoms are relieved and the bite has been stabilized, we will permanently adjust your bite to the correct position.
3. Permanent Bite Correction
There are a variety of ways to correct your alignment in a more permanent way. Four of the most common of these approaches are:
Coronoplasty/Equilibration – smoothing and reshaping the enamel of the teeth to correct your bite; does not require anesthesia and can be used when the bite is only slightly misaligned.
Removable Overlay Partials – orthotics that usually fit over the back teeth, designed to maintain an aligned bite.
Reconstruction – involves making the teeth higher by using crowns to realign the bite and provide permanent structural support for the jaw.
Orthodontics (Braces) – healthy teeth can be moved to the optimal position using braces.
Watch the video for a better understanding: