Some people live with temporomandibular (jaw) joint pain throughout their lives and fail to realize the cause of their discomfort. Many of the people who come to the Center for Advanced Dentistry in Nashville have already seen other doctors or dentists about their TMJ/TMD problem but have not found relief. Some have seen many doctors and may be undergoing multiple treatments to try to control their symptoms.
If you are in Nashville and need a dentist who treats TMJ/TMD issues with help from reliable neuromuscular diagnostics, please contact the Center for Advanced Dentistry online or call us directly at (615) 383-6787 to book an appointment with Dr. Kent White.
TMJ Treatment: Two Key Questions
If the teeth, face muscles, and jaw joints are not in harmonious balance, people develop painful complications. These are known as temporomandibular disorders, and can cause severe head, neck, and back pain. Our neuromuscular approach to dentistry seeks to restore oral harmony and put an end to TMJ pain. When you think you might be ready to explore our unique treatments, ask yourself these two questions:
Question No. 1: Do you have regular face, head or neck pain, discomfort, spasms or fatigue?
Question No. 2: Are you considering restorative or aesthetic/cosmetic dentistry?
Some TMJ problems develop during infancy. Others develop during childhood when tooth formation and jaw alignment are still happening. Still other TMJ problems may develop as a result of physical trauma or because teeth wear down over time.
Unfortunately, TMJ problems also can surface after previous restorative or aesthetic procedures were completed without determining the jaw’s proper posture. Denture patients often develop TMJ because their dentures are not accurately replacing their lost teeth.
Determining the root cause of a person’s pain can be like solving a puzzle. Here are some of the symptoms we look for to determine whether a patient might be suffering from TMJ/TMD:
- Sensitive or sore teeth
- Facial pain
- Neck and shoulder aches
- Jaw joint clicking or popping
- Ear congestion
- Worn down teeth/grinding
- Limited opening of the mouth
- Neck problems
- Loose teeth
- Tingling in the fingertips
- Forward head posturing
- Mouth breathing
- Tongue thrusts
- Open bites
Many people who have TMJ may also develop airway problems, which might include snoring or sleep apnea.
We utilize the latest technology so you get a scientific diagnosis of your TMJ. Our diagnostic equipment includes the BioPak diagnostic suite and T-Scan. BioPak allows us to measure many aspects of your jaw health, such as muscle activity, jaw motion, and jaw sounds. T-Scan is a digital bite measurement that shows how much force your individual teeth experience so we can identify any imbalances. Together these tools give us a complete picture of your bite health, from the cusps of your teeth to the cartilage in your joints.
Although a complete smile makeover is one solution, our Nashville dentist always opts for a conservative treatment strategy whenever possible. Our Nashville dentist might choose to fit a patient with a custom orthotic appliance designed to correct teeth and jaw posture. By holding your jaw in a better resting position, the orthotic helps your muscles relax, reduces pressure on your jaw joints, nerves, and other structures. This can reduce or eliminate TMJ symptoms over time. You might begin by wearing your orthotic all day, then switch to wearing it only at night.
If you like the results of the orthotic, but don’t like wearing the orthotic, we can talk about using restorations to establish a permanently healthy bite.
If you are in Nashville and need a dentist who treats TMJ disorders with help from reliable neuromuscular diagnostics, please contact the Center for Advanced Dentistry at (615) 383-6787 to book an appointment with Dr. Kent White.