To have a healthy, attractive smile, you must first have a healthy bite. When the bite is out of alignment, a variety of problems can occur, and, if left untreated, can lead to temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction, also called TMJ disorder.
Other causes can be: trauma to the joint, occlusal habits such as grinding or clenching, or arthritic deterioration.
What is a TMJ Dentist?
There is no official designation in dentistry for TMJ dentists. Dentists who treat TMJ are usually licensed as general dentists. Nevertheless, Dr. Bender has spent many years of rigorous study relating to TMJ disorders and treatment. She has a special interest in the condition and closely follows the most up-to-date advances in the science of neuromuscular dentistry. Through this study, Dr. Bender has learned how to bring your jaw into a relaxed position to help alleviate the pain and discomfort you may have been experiencing, even if this pain has persisted for many years.
Signs of TMJ Disorder
If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may be a candidate for TMJ treatment:
- persistent headaches or migraines
- tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- unexplained loose teeth
- worn, chipped or cracked teeth
- cracked, chipped or broken dental restorations
- pain or soreness around the jaw joints
- vague, poorly localized pain the teeth
- neck, shoulder or back pain
- clicking or grating sounds in the jaw joints
- limited jaw movement or even locking of the jaw
- numbness in your fingers and arms
- congestion or stuffiness of the ears
TMJ Dentist Dr. Bender Can Treat Your Pain
Highly trained in the correct diagnosis and effective treatment of neuromuscular problems, Dr. Bender can help.
The most important step in proper treatment of this disorder is a correct diagnosis. Since there can be multiple causes, your exact cause needs to be pinned down.
For treatment, the first priority is alleviating your pain. A variety of techniques can be called upon. Moist heat helps, sometimes medications may help, and a bite splint can be made to help give you a more comfortable bite.
Long term solutions are also varied. Sometimes, a simple bite splint (called an orthotic) is all that is needed. Worn for a period of time, it can help guide a displaced disc back into its proper position in your temporo-mandibular joint, and this could completely solve your problem. You may need an occlusal adjustment (called an equilibration). In serious cases, you may need your entire bite rebuilt with a full mouth reconstruction. In some circumstances, referral to an oral surgeon for repair of the TMJ may be required.
The correction of occlusal discrepancies creates balance and an aesthetically pleasing result. Many of our patients experience a dramatic rejuvenation in their facial appearance with the removal of the pressure and pain. And you can experience all of this with proper treatment by Dr. Bender.
If you think you may be suffering from TMJ disorder, contact Creative Edge Dentistry for a consultation.