TMJ Disorder Therapy
Jaw Pain, Popping, Clicking—Do you have any of these symptoms?
You may have dismissed it as “normal”, but did you know that over time it can actually do a lot of damage to your jaw joint? In fact, if you are experiencing jaw pain, facial pain or ringing in your ears, you may be suffering from Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)–also known as TMJ Disorder.
While headaches or migraines are the most common symptom of TMJ Disorder, other signs and symptoms can include jaw joint noise, limited opening, and locking in the jaw. Patients who suffer from TMJ Disorder are often faced with daily, chronic pain and options for treatment often include prescription pain medication or even surgery.
If this describes you, we offer a conservative, non-surgical approach to treat your TMJ Disorder. Dr. Mary Blakeley, the founder of Willow Creek Dental in 1998, has undergone extensive post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry and has invested in the latest technology to aide in effectively treating her patients.
How it works
TMJ Disorder is a condition that refers to problems with the jaw and the facial muscles that control it. Symptoms can include headaches or migraines, limited opening, ringing in the ears or locking in the jaw. Patients who suffer from TMJ Disorder may be faced with daily, chronic pain and have probably tried numerous treatment methods to relieve their symptoms. This can include visits to neurologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, prescription pain medication or surgery.
In her extensive study of neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Blakeley has focused on the connection between the patient’s occlusion (i.e. how their bite comes together) and their TMJ Disorder symptoms. If a person’s bite doesn’t come together in the most ideal way, either from the result of genetics or an accident, it can put additional stress on the joint and produce painful symptoms. By adjusting teeth so they meet in the ideal position, the stress on the joint could lessen and reduce or eliminate painful symptoms.
To determine if the patient’s symptoms are possibly the result of a “bad bite”, Dr. Blakeley uses a K7 Computerized Mandibular Scanner (CMS) and Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulus (TENS) to measure and record objective information about the patient’s TM joint. She also has her patients undergo a 3-dimensional x-ray called cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The CBCT scan provides high-resolution images to allow examination of the TM Joint anatomy, specifically the bone and joint space. The CBCT scan is done at Willow Creek Dental and only takes a few minutes to complete.
After the patient’s information has been gathered, measured and assessed, Dr. Blakeley is then able to recommend a course of treatment. The same technology is then used throughout the patient’s treatment to evaluate progress and determine its effectiveness.