The experienced Westchester, New York area neuromuscular dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake can help you if you are suffering from chronic headaches, neck pain, vertigo, and tinnitus. Each one of these may be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD). It is hard to diagnose, especially for a doctor, and many people find it hard to get treatment.

If you have chronic headaches, jaw pain, and other symptoms, and you’re not happy with your current treatment, we can help. Please call (914) 526-2144 or email Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake to learn whether TMJ treatment might help where other treatments have failed.

What Is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your skull. It’s a complex joint, allowing the jaw to move up and down, forward and back, and side to side. The temporomandibular joint exists at the crossroads of your body, interacting with some of your body’s most important nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. When this joint is misaligned or dysfunctional, it can have major impacts on the smooth functioning of your body, and many of the symptoms are ones you might not immediately associate with your jaw. Dysfunction of the jaw joint is called tempormandibular joint disorder (abbreviated inconsistently as TMJ or TMD).

There are many forms of TMJ. The most common is muscle pain, also called myofascial pain disorder (MPD). Next most common is disc displacement (DD), where the disc that cushions the jaw joint is out of place. Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is when the joint breaks down because of conditions like arthritis. These are the three most widely agreed forms of the condition, but they are not the only ones.

Symptoms of TMJ

Common symptoms include:

  • Neck aches
  • Migraine-like headaches
  • Clicking in the jaw
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Vertigo
  • Broken teeth, fillings, or crowns
  • Collapse of the facial structure

But this is just a sample of the many symptoms TMJ sufferers endure. The effects can be felt throughout the body, and the condition is progressive–worsening with time–so TMJ treatment is vital.

Neuromuscular Dentistry

The branch of dentistry that deals with treating TMJ is called neuromuscular dentistry. Pain caused by it can go undiagnosed for a very long time, and symptoms may be masked by other treatments that never get to the root cause of the problem. Dr. Sepiashvili and Dr. Wanda Mejia are experienced neuromuscular dentists able to look past your symptoms and focus on the main cause or causes of your pain to develop an individualized treatment plan.

Often TMJ treatment begins with a TENS unit. This state-of-the-art technology emits a mild electrical pulse to the jaw muscles to relax them. Dr. Sepiashvili can then measure your optimal bite to give you proper treatment.

TMJ Full Mouth Rehabilitation

TMJ treatment often begins with relaxing the jaw muscles. We do this with TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), an electric massage. This not only helps with diagnosis because it allows us to analyze your bite without interference from accomodative bite habits, but also provides relief. Many people experience immediate relief of symptoms with TENS. Some don’t need any treatment beyond periodic TENS.

The next step in treatment is usually an orthotic–a dental appliance similar to a sports mouthguard. The orthotic holds your jaw in a position that is healthy for muscles and joints. At first, you might wear the appliance all day, but later you may only need to wear it at night. If you get good results with the orthotic, but don’t like the device or have tooth damage, we might recommend full mouth rehabilitation.

Full mouth rehabilitation for TMJ may include different restorative dentistry procedures. The goal of these procedures is to:

  • Reposition the jaw to its proper location over time
  • Realign the bite
  • Protect teeth from nighttime grinding
  • Allow the jaw and the face to relax

If your pain and suffering has been caused by TMJ, there is a cure for it. However, the diagnosis requires a qualified and experienced neuromuscular dentist for TMJ treatment.

If you are in the Westchester County, New York area and believe you may be suffering from symptoms caused by TMJ, please call (914) 526-2144 or contact experienced neuromuscular dentist Dr. George Sepiashvili for an initial TMJ consultation.