TMD refers to a disorder as opposed to a disease and usually does not have a single cause or a single symptom. It is widely believed that most joint problems are commonly caused by combined problems with the bite (occlusion), posture, and muscles that, together with the joints, comprise the musculoskeletal system (muscles + teeth + joints). Joint problems are frequently related to malocclusion (bad bite), which, in turn, causes misalignment of the joints and disharmony among the stomatognathic and musculoskeletal system.
Diagnosing TMD can be very challenging. Many TMD patients think that many of their symptoms are medical conditions, not relating to dentistry. In fact, these symptoms are medical conditions that often have dental problems as the underlying cause. As a graduate of the world-renowned LVI (Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies) core curriculum and Functional Occlusion and TMD from the esteemed Center For Occlusal Studies, Dr. Ginder has extensive training in diagnostic methods and treatment of TMD.
Neuromuscular Dentistry (NMD) enhances traditional dentistry, as taught in our dental schools. NMD describes the additional considerations of muscle, joint, airway, and postural status when evaluating your bite.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, you may be a candidate for relief through TMD treatment:
- Headaches or migraines
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Clenching or grinding
- Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Cracking, chipping, or fracturing restorations
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Postural problems
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Facial pain
- Tingling of the fingertips
- Ringing of the ears or ear congestion
- Limited mouth opening or jaw locking
- Jaw joint pain
- Jaw joint clicking or popping
Once we establish a diagnosis of your problem, TMD pain relief is accomplished with the use of a Myotronics K7 and TENS unit. The K7 is a non-invasive computerized instrument that allows for:
- EMG (electromyography) gives precise information about resting muscle status as well as muscle efficiency when biting
- Sonography precisely records jaw joint sounds (frequency and amplitude) as you open and close you mouth
- Computerized Jaw Tracking records the position and movements of the jaw as it moves through space
In conjunction with the Myotronics K7, a Myotronics TENS unit will be used to stimulate your jaw muscles with ultra low frequency pulses to help the muscles find their most relaxed state. Together, these systems work in harmony to allow for the most optimal position for your bite. If you are diagnosed with a “bad bite’ or malocclusion, we will develop a treatment plan to help alleviate your pain and get you back to optimal health.
Treatment May Include
Removable orthotic or night guard
This conservative treatment often alleviates TMD pain significantly. A night guard is worn only at night. However, TMD patients often receive so much pain relief with a night guard that they often choose to wear it during the daytime as well.
Dr. Ginder has helped may people relieve their TMD problems with an orthotic/bite splint. This temporary appliance can be fixed (not removable) or removable and is usually worn on the mandibular (lower) teeth. This appliance allows for the repositioning of your jaw to a more comfortable position. Nothing is done to permanently alter your teeth or your bite. The goal of this phase of treatment is to provide pain relief and better function, while providing diagnostic information that will confirm that the diagnosed bite position is the proper position.
- Full Mouth Reconstruction