Are Splints a Viable Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Cure Near Waterford, MI?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a condition affecting the joints at the back of the jaw, called temporomandibular joints. We all have them. However, some people at some point experience dysfunction within these joints. When the TMJs do not operate as they should, a host of seemingly random symptoms can develop. Although most people associate TMJ disorder with clicking, popping, pain, or limited mobility of the jaw, this condition may actually be an underlying cause of head and neck pain, including migraines. Those who are experiencing symptoms of TMJ disorder may find the ideal cure for pain in their dentist near Waterford, MI.

Dentistry has long offered treatment for TMJ disorder. Depending on the specific problem a patient may be experiencing, a dentist is likely to design a customized splint. There are several splints used in the treatment of TMJ, most of which are fabricated from high-quality hard acrylic resin. There are softer splints, but studies have shown more pliable splints could promote tooth clenching or grinding, habits counterproductive to the overall goal of treatment. Research gives us even more insight into what is TMJ disorder and how we treat it.

One study, performed by researchers from the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Medicine, New York University College of Dentistry, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, argues that bruxism is not an underlying cause of TMJD. Therefore, the use of an occlusal splint to minimize bruxism seems ineffective treatment for the disorder.

Another study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, in January of 2012, showed that patients treated with occlusal splints alone experienced minimal results compared to those who also underwent an educational program that included lifestyle changes such as eating soft foods.

At Metro Imaging Center, your dentist takes a different approach to the treatment of TMJ. Rather than seek to alleviate symptoms with the prescription of an occlusal splint, we use high-tech CT scan equipment to gain a better understanding of why the temporomandibular joints are under excessive stress. By discovering the cause of dysfunction, we are able to produce real and lasting change in the way the joints operate in conjunction with surrounding structures, including the muscles and ligaments in the jaw.

Treating TMJ disorder is challenging because each person may experience an array of TMJ symptoms, caused by different stressors. Dr. Ingber and the team at Metro Imaging Center seek to create more comfort for patients by getting to the root of the problem.

Contact our office today at (248) 716-8572 for your consultation on the best treatments for TMJ disorder.