Treating TMD in Newton
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMD, can be a debilitating condition that severely impairs an individual’s ability to perform even the most basic of oral functions. Dr. Steven Bader
offers comprehensive TMD therapy in Newton that integrates innovative techniques with modern technologies to help individuals alleviate the pain caused by this condition and improve their oral function.
Understanding Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
Also known as the TMJ, the temporomandibular joint serves as the connection point between the lower jaw, or mandible, and the skull. Between the mandible and temporal bones sits a firm disc known as the articular disc. While several muscle groups facilitate the movement of the joint, this articular disc ensures smooth function by cushioning and protecting bones. If one component fails to move correctly or is damaged, patients may find themselves at risk of developing symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Symptoms and Causes of TMJ Dysfunction
Given the position of the TMJ and the number of inter-related components, joint dysfunction can be triggered by several of different components. Some of the more common causes of TMJ dysfunction include:
- Clenching teeth or bruxism (grinding)
- Misaligned bite
- Joint trauma
- Emotional stress
- Myofacial pain
TMD often manifests by impeding the patient’s ability to perform basic oral functions with an increase in clenching, altering bite alignment, locking the jaw opened or closed, restricting jaw movement, and causing teeth sensitivity.
As jaw movement is facilitated by a system of muscles and ligaments throughout a patient’s face and neck, symptoms of TMJ dysfunction are not limited to affecting oral function. Individuals with TMD may also experience headaches and migraines, postural problems, dizziness, insomnia, impaired vision, and tingling in fingers and hands. Joint dysfunction can also trigger pain throughout the face, head, back, and neck.
Diagnosing & Treating TMD
At our Newton dental office, comprehensive TMJ examinations are conducted by our on-staff TMD specialist Dr. Steven Bader. During examinations, Dr. Bader thoroughly evaluates teeth, TMJ, occlusion (bite), and surrounding muscles to determine whether any component is dysfunctional.
Following a diagnosis of TMD, our joint dysfunction specialist can recommend an effective treatment plan for alleviating symptoms and restoring joint function. Neuromuscular occlusal therapy from our office has provided patients with renewed joint function. During this two phase treatment, specialized jaw tracking technology is used to measure and establish a baseline of muscle activity, jaw movement, and joint sounds. Ultra Low Frequency TENS therapy can then be provided to relax the muscles of the head and neck and measure ideal bite position.
This measurement is used to create a customized orthotic device, which is worn to gradually coax the bite into ideal neuromuscular position. Once symptoms have been relieved and the measured bite remains constant between weekly visits, patients enter the second phase of neuromuscular therapy.
During this second phase of treatment, patients switch to a removable orthotic device and undergo on-going occlusal (bite) therapy. Depending on the cause of TMD as well as the individual’s unique dental condition, continued TMD treatments at our Newton dental office may include:
- Occlusal adjustment, or reshaping of the biting surfaces of the teeth.
- Neuromuscular orthodontics using highly specialized braces
- Neuromuscular reconstruction, during which crowns and veneers are used to restore the bite
- Semi-permanent orthotics to keep the bite in the correct position.
TMD Treatment in Newton
Ted Filandrianos DMD FAGD and Associates LLC is committed to helping patients overcome the symptoms of TMD through comprehensive diagnosis and therapy. Our TMD specialist is extensively trained and has completed over 278 hours of continuing dental education in neuromuscular dentistry. For more information about treating TMJ dysfunction, please contact our Newton dental office today.