TMJ TherapyAn Overview
A Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), commonly called TMJ, is a condition that affects the alignment and function of the jaw. TMJ is associated with teeth grinding, chronic headaches and muscular pain. Often misdiagnosed, left untreated TMJ can begin to detract from a patient’s quality of life.
Ottawa, ON neuromuscular dentist Dr. Ami Barakat offers comprehensive and personalized treatment plans that address the causes of TMJ to alleviate associated symptoms and restore oral health.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing
- Ringing ears
- Face, neck, shoulder and back pain
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Jaw pain and tension
- Jaw locking
- Numbness or tingling of the hands or fingers
TMJ affects the alignment and health of the temporomandibular joint that attaches the jaw to the skull. This area is densely packed with connective tissues and nerves. The temporomandibular joint assists in biting, chewing and swallowing, and requires proper alignment to function properly, without pain.
TMJ Therapy What to Expect
Treating TMD begins with a thorough oral health exam. Dr. Barakat carefully examines the oral cavity, neck, head, and face to build a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s unique oral health. There is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment for TMD and Dr. Barakat may recommend a combination of treatments for the most effective results.
TMD Diagnostic Technology
Dr. Barakat utilizes state of the art neuromuscular dentistry technology to detect the source of your discomfort and provide the basis for your personal treatment plan. The majority of TMJ cases are caused by a misalignment of the jaw and bite. Every patient’s misalignment will be different, so it is essential to properly analyze the specific jaw measurements and movement to build an effective treatment plan.
- K7 Evaluation System: the K7 Evaluation System to precisely map the movements of your jaw. K7 Evaluation System is an advanced computer technology that is used to determine the extent of the irregularities in the movement and alignment of the jaw.
- TENS Unit: Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation Unit sends mild electrical stimulation to relax the jaw muscles relaxing into proper alignment. TENS is used for diagnosis and treatment of TMJ.
Neuromuscular Treatment Options for TMD
TMJ is a complex disorder that may require a combination of restorative and neuromuscular dental treatments. Dr. Barakat will work with each patient on an individual basis to build a treatment plan that will address the cause of the jaw malfunction to relieve the symptoms of TMD. Treatment will depend on the patient’s personal oral health, alignment issues, lifestyle, and budget.
TMD treatments may include:
- TENS therapy: Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation. The TENS device uses mild electrical stimulation to relax the jaw muscles. TENS allows the jaw to relax and shift into the natural resting position. This relieves tension on the muscles, allows the jaw to move into a neutral position and reduces pain.
- Mouthguards: Mouthguards worn while sleeping can help to prevent teeth grinding by repositioning the jaw. Mouthguards stop grinding and protect teeth from further damage.
- Orthodontics: For patients that have TMJ caused by bite misalignment or crooked teeth orthodontics can gradually realign the bite releasing tension from the jaw.
- Invisalign®: Invisalign can be used as an alternative to traditional metal braces to straighten teen and realign the bite.
- Restorative dentistry treatments: For minor tooth misalignment or bite issues a dental crown or veneer may be able to bring balance to the bite.
- Change in lifestyle habits: Exercise, yoga, and other therapeutic activities can help patients release stress and tension to prevent jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Dr. Barakat may make other recommendations of changes that may help alleviate TMJ pain.
Free TMJ Consultation
If you are concerned that you may have a bite problem or TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Barakat. He offers complimentary TMJ consultation to new and returning patients. Dr. Barakat will provide a thorough evaluation of your bite function and overall dental health condition. He will then be able to offer his patients the proper TMJ treatment in the Stittsville, ON, Kanata, ON and Ottawa, ON area.