It wasn’t so long ago that a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) was dismissed by many in the medical field. Patients might have been told it was “all in their head,” or that they simply needed to wait for their symptoms to go away.
In recent decades, orofacial pain and TMJ disorders have come to light, and as a result, treatments have evolved and concepts for effective management have surfaced. However, not all orofacial pain and TMD doctors agree on the most effective treatment modalities. It can be confusing for the patient to hear differing opinions and contradicting recommendations from their dentists and physicians.
Most general dentist websites will advertise the availability for treatment of temporomandibular disorders. The advantage offered at MedCenter TMJ is the commitment of two doctors who have dedicated their life’s study and practice to the treatment of this disorder. A physician or dentist who hasn’t studied orofacial pain or TMJ disorders is not going to be able to deliver the type of care you’d get from someone who’s made orofacial pain their life’s work.
There is no quick fix for TMD because every patient is different. Any doctor who hands you a bite splint and sends you on your way is not helping you solve the issue. Additional factors must be considered, such as lifestyle, severity of symptoms, anatomy of the jaw and face, and of course the underlying cause of the TMD. Reaching a correct diagnosis allows the most effective treatment and the best possible outcome. Our office utilizes advanced technology to view and plan treatment for your TMJ.
Though treatments vary widely from patient to patient, some of the ways we treat TMD here at MedCenter TMJ include:
A custom orthotic appliance. This is an important component of controlling jaw pain and pressure, and is much more than a typical “night guard.” This appliance is designed to help the jaw move into its optimal position, and to help train the posturing muscles of your head, tongue, and mandible.
Stretches and exercises. The TMJ involves the attachments of muscles and ligaments. Like any muscle, these muscles benefit from stretches and certain exercises to help position the jaw in ways to keep proper alignment and avoid pain.
Massage. A massage goes beyond relaxation when treating TMD. Specific massages can help alleviate pain and stiffness in the jaw and improve mobility. Our goal will be to train you to perform many of these massages yourself so you can use them as needed throughout your life.
A thorough health history. Addressing the underlying cause of TMD should be a critical part of any treatment plan. Seemingly unrelated causes such as allergies and congestion, diet, exercise, sleeping position, your job, stress levels, and activities can all play a role in the health of your jaw.
- Cold Laser. Through low-level laser therapy, tissue repair can be enhanced and inflammation can be reduced.
Are you ready to talk to a medical team that will take your TMD seriously? MedCenter TMJ wants to help you get your life back without TMJ pain.