This Thursday is Thanksgiving, a time to be with family and celebrate the blessings in your life. At MedCenter TMJ, we’re grateful for the opportunity to provide outstanding care to our wonderful patients. Dr. Ronald C. Auvenshine, Dr. Nathan Pettit, and the rest of our experienced team help patients improve the health and function of their TMJs, or temporomandibular joints. These very important but often undervalued bands of tissue act as hinges for your jaw. If you suffer from TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), we can diagnose your symptoms and make treatment recommendations. As dental professionals, we have a true appreciation of what the TMJs do for your smile. In the following blog, we cover four reasons to be thankful for your TMJs.
1. They allow you to move your jaw so you can chew, talk, and smile.
You wouldn’t be able to do many of your daily activities without your TMJs. These joints make it possible for you to open, close, and move your jaw. As you eat your Thanksgiving feast, remember that your TMJs let you nosh on turkey, bite into cranberries, and munch on pumpkin pie.
2. Having healthy TMJs makes the rest of your oral health easier to manage.
Being able to easily open your mouth makes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash easier. Simpler oral hygiene can reduce your risks for other conditions, such as cavities, tooth root infections, and gingivitis. In addition, TMD is often related to other unhealthy oral behaviors, such as bruxism (tooth grinding). TMJs guide nearly every aspect of your oral function, so you should be thankful for them, especially if yours are in good shape.
3. They can be easily examined with advanced diagnostic technology.
Not too long ago, TMD was very difficult to diagnose, and many people never realized that their TMJs could be causing their uncomfortable symptoms. Nowadays, however, we employ state-of-the-art techniques and devices to assess their health. At MedCenter TMJ, we recently upgraded to an i-CAT® FLX cone beam scanner, allowing us to generate detailed 3D virtual models of our patients’ jaws. We can also use the Myotronics K-7 evaluation system to perform electrognathographic tests, conduct JVA (joint vibration analysis) to measure friction, and use Tekscan occlusal analysis to evaluate your bite. These innovative tools, combined with our doctors’ extensive expertise, allow us to maintain and improve our patients’ TMJ function. We’re delighted to have them at our disposal.
4. In most cases, TMD can be treated without surgery.
If you do suffer from TMD, minimally invasive treatment techniques are available and effective. Our doctors can help you manage your condition by:
- Educating you in lifestyle modifications to encourage less pressure on your TMJs
- Creating a customized oral appliance to realign your jaw
- Instruct you in home care to relieve symptoms in the short and long-term
We take a very conservative approach to TMJ surgery and only recommend it if there truly is no other option. Being able to enhance your TMJ health without going under the knife is definitely something to be appreciative of.
Take Care of Your TMJs This Holiday Season
Your TMJs do a lot for your oral and overall health, so be thankful for them! To get more information about these pivotal joints or schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, contact us today.