What is TMJ and What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
Temporomandibular Joint is the joint of the jaw that is frequently referred as TMJ. There are two TMJs, one on each side of the jaw, that work in unison. TMJ disorders (or TMD) are a chronic degenerative condition that can take years to develop and have serious consequences to your health and quality of life. When your jaw is misaligned, it can cause other symptoms such as:
- Headaches, neck, and/or shoulder pain
- Clicking and/or popping sounds in the jaw
- Jaw pain
- Grinding of the teeth
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Tingling fingers
- Poor prognosis of dental treatment due to misalignment of teeth
Dr. Gray is a graduate of the Kois Treatment Center in Seattle where he studied TMJ disorders and can offer a TMJ treatment that is right for you. Solutions could be as simple as adjusting your bite, to orthodontics, and restoring your bite with crowns to proper function.
How do I know if I Have a Bite Issue?
When you come in for your reservations with either Dr. Gray or your Dental Hygienist, you will be asked a few questions regarding any symptoms you may be experiencing. We will assess inside your mouth for any visible signs of wear and take photos for you to see. Dr. Gray will then discuss with you what his concerns are with the findings.
How Can I Fix This?
Newmarket Dentist, Dr. Gray, will discuss with you about having your bite analyzed. He uses a few different tools to assist him in this diagnostic phase:
- Models of your mouth (done with a 3D scanner)
- Panoramic X-Ray
- Complete exam
Once Dr. Gray has these tools, you will then proceed to the next step, which is appliance therapy, either a deprogrammer or tens appliance. This oral appliance is worn usually for 1 month and is not visible. It relaxes the TMJ and allows Dr. Gray to find where your bite naturally wants to be. Follow up visits are required during this stage to track your progress.
Upon completing this stage, a TMJ treatment plan can be decided upon that is based on your specific needs. The treatment options can include the following:
- Occlusal Equilibration (Adjustment of the way your upper and lower teeth bite together by altering some of the chewing surfaces)
- Crowns (Building up the bite to also alter the way your upper and lower teeth bite together)
- Combination of Orthodontic and/or Occlusal Equilibration and/ or Crowns
What is the Final Result?
The result of this treatment leads to a jaw that is more comfortable, decrease in symptoms, arresting the progression of wear, better prognosis for dental treatment, and most of all, a better quality of life!