To find effective treatment options, start with a TMJ diagnosis
A TMJ diagnosis begins with an investigation into the the history of your heath, and a complete analysis of your mouth and jaw. This evaluation is designed to determine the function (or dysfunction) of your masticatory, or chewing system. That is your teeth, jaw muscles, and jaw joints. Once complete, this investigation will help your dentist plan out dental treatment options for you.
Non-invasive electronic instruments such as the K-7 Evaluation System, may also be used. Data from these tests can help reveal whether your bite is a contributing factor to your jaw joint problem.
If your accustomed bite is deemed a probable cause of your condition or pain, the next step is to relax your jaw muscles so that a more correct jaw position can be found. This is often done using a TENS machine. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It helps to electronically relax muscles that have been in a strained state for a period of time back into a more ideal position.
This ideal jaw position is known as neuromuscular occlusion because all the components of your bite; your jaw joints, your jaw muscles, and your teeth are brought back into balance. In neuromuscular occlusion, your bite is in the correct position for the healthy functioning of your jaw muscles, and the nerves that run through and around them.
The next step is to keep your jaw in this optimal position for the long-term.
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Unique treatment options for unique people
Because each case of TMJ is unique, the treatment options must also be.
Dealing with teeth: An examination of your teeth to determine if missing, damaged or misaligned teeth are contributing to or causing your TMJ symptoms is part of a TMJ diagnosis. If tooth issues are the cause of your TMJ problem, dental work to reshape, repair, replace, or move teeth which could be preventing your bite from being smooth and normal may be recommended.
Retraining jaw muscles: A temporary orthotic retrains your jaw muscles, so they cease struggling against the jaw joint, while they adapt to your corrected bite.
Healing your body: Physical therapy and NUCCA chiropractic care may be recommended to help to relive the strain that’s been radiating up or down to your head, neck, or shoulders, or to ensure your spinal alignment is healthy.
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Could a TMJ evaluation help you? Find out
Once the root cause of your TMJ disorder has been exposed, tackling your TMJ with dental treatment options could help you resolve your pain, and get back to a healthy life.
If you would like to know if a TMJ diagnosis could help you find the path to a healthy functioning jaw, please come in for a consultation.