Understanding TMJ and the Various Treatments Used in Our Waterford Practice

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The body is an interesting, intricate system of organs, veins, muscles, and other necessities. Just within the mouth, we have discovered, several conditions could play a role in general health. A condition that has been treated by dentists for years, but remains somewhat a mystery to most people, is TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Most commonly referred to as TMJ, this condition is one which the temporomandibular joints, those located at the back of the jawbone, become irritated and malfunction. Should these joints become physically impaired, various treatments may be applicable, but not all of them work in the same way.

In our Waterford dental clinic, we have successfully treated a number of cases in which these joints have become dysfunctional. Our approach goes beyond diagnosis and front-line treatment with a customized mouthguard. With an understanding that TMJ disorder is part of an entire neuromuscular system, we look at the muscles, joints, and ligaments affected, and work to put all structures in the proper alignment so that pain ceases and full function is returned.

Some of the structures that may be affected by physical stress associated with TMD include:

  • Muscles of the face, jaw, and neck
  • Cartilage surrounding the TMJs
  • Teeth
  • Ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels located around the jaw

Seeing the various structures that respond to stress triggers, you can see why a well-rounded approach to TMD is necessary. There is no singular cause to which the condition can be attributed. Every patient is different. While one person may find relief through orthodontic treatment, another may be best served by the restructuring of existing dental work that is offsetting the bite. We can only determine the best course of treatment by considering all facial structures. To help us devise the most suitable treatment plan for TMJ issues, we use state-of-the-art CT scan technology that goes above and beyond what most dental practices offer.

The joints and muscles that help the jaw to pivot, slide, open, and close can be affected by so many factors, like a bad bite, teeth grinding or clenching, physical trauma, lack of sleep, poor diet, arthritis, and even poor posture. We can help you discover the triggers that are putting stress on your joint, devise a precise TMJ treatment plan, and lead you back to a pain-free state.

Contact our exceptional TMJ doctors with your questions, or schedule your consultation at Metro Imaging Center by calling (248) 716-8572.