TMJ & Neuromuscular Dentistry in Sharon, MA
Lasting Relief From TMD Symptoms With TMJ Treatment
Your jaw does a lot of work. Whether you’re eating, speaking, or smiling, the joints and tendons that connect your jaw to your skull, called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), work hard to ensure your mouth works the way you need it to. However, when these joints are overworked or damaged, that can give rise to temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
Solving TMD issues is important to the functions of your oral structures, which is why our Sharon, MA dentist uses neuromuscular dentistry to help correct issues with your temporomandibular joints, offering relief from pain and returning function to your jawbone. Keep reading to learn more about TMD, including the causes and symptoms, and how Dr. Agamov can help.
What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint disorder is a disorder of the temporomandibular joints. TMD can be caused by numerous problems including:
- Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
- Trauma to the face or jaw
- Misaligned bite
- Dislocation of the TMJ joints
TMJ normally starts with jaw pain or discomfort, which may or may not go away on its own. However, TMD can cause symptoms beyond simple pain, and can get worse the longer it goes untreated.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD
Common symptoms of TMD include:
- Headaches / Migraines due to overworked postural muscles in the jaw
- Pain of the face
- Neck/shoulder/back pain
- Jaw locking when jaw is open or closed
- Facial swelling
- Pain of the jaw joint and/or the ear
- Worn or cracked teeth
- Uncomfortable bite
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Clicking or popping in the jaw
- Restricted ability or complete inability to open the mouth without pain
- Sensitive and sore teeth
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Numbness or tingling of hands or arms
- Excessive snoring or sleep apnea
- Bad posture
Most people try to treat the symptoms at home with pain relievers and ice packs. However, neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Agamov can offer professional help if your home remedies are not working.
What Is A Neuromuscular Dentist?
A neuromuscular dentist is a dental specialist who considers the position of teeth in relation to the function of jaw joints and muscles in an effort to improve the harmony of the two. Neuromuscular dentistry focuses on correcting jaw alignment and the functional system that allows you to chew, swallow, and speak while also diagnosing disorders related to the jaw or muscles.
Using state-of-the-art technology, neuromuscular dentists can determine your optimal jaw position. They use tracking instruments to record movement, resting position, and path of closure. Additionally, neuromuscular dentists can offer electromyography and sonography to help diagnose these issues. Electromyography is used to measure function, while sonography is used to record jaw-joint sound to detect any abnormalities.
Possible TMJ Treatment
There are several treatments that can be utilized to resolve problems caused by TMD. TMJ treatment plans will be centered on your overall function but also address pain, stabilization of the bite, and long-term management. Possible TMJ treatments your neuromuscular dentist may recommend include:
- Oral Appliance Treatment – Oral appliances are custom-made mouthpieces that sit comfortably over your teeth. The appliance will provide a barrier between your teeth, preventing them from grinding down and reducing stress on the jaw, helping it heal.
- Physical Therapy – Dr. Agamov may recommend working with a physical therapist to help alleviate TMD symptoms. Physical therapists evaluate and treat disorders of the body through exercise, stretching, hands-on equipment, and other means.
- Mental Therapy – If your symptoms are the result of mental or emotional issues, then mental therapy may help. A mental therapist will help you work through your mental issues and even prescribe medication alongside other treatments. Dr. Agamov will work closely with your mental health professional to monitor and treat your TMD.
- Medication – Over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication can help alleviate pain caused by TMD and Dr. Agamov may recommend the use of anti inflammatory medications to control pain and swelling. Additionally, a mental health therapist can prescribe medications for issues which can lead to TMD, such as excessive stress and depression.
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation – Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a type of electrical muscle stimulation. The electrical pulses stimulate controlled, minor muscle contractions, essentially making your jaw muscles massage themselves. The generated heat helps relieve pain, possibly resolving symptoms.
- Jaw Surgery – If all other methods have failed, your neuromuscular Sharon, MA dentist may recommend jaw surgery. Also called orthognathic surgery, this procedure involves making incisions into the jaw to correct issues with the joints and tissues.
- Orthodontics – If your bite is causing your TMD, then orthodontic treatment like Invisalign may help. Correcting your bite may help alleviate bruxism and reduce strain on the temporomandibular joints.
Frequently Asked Questions
While TMJ disorders may resolve themselves on their own, seeking professional treatment is recommended. If you’re experiencing TMD, it’s best to receive a professional opinion before the issue progresses. Neuromuscular dentist Dr. Agamov recommends calling our Sharon, MA office at (781) 784-8435 and scheduling a consultation so she can understand your case and offer effective treatment.
The exact cost of your TMJ treatment will depend on a number of factors including which treatments you require, the severity of your case, and your insurance. We recommend you contact your health insurance and dental insurance providers beforehand and ask them which costs they cover. If you’re underinsured or uninsured, don’t worry. Sharon, MA neuromuscular dentist Dr. Agamov offers flexible financing options, including third-party financing through CareCredit.
Some insurance providers will cover TMJ therapy, while some will cover a portion of the cost. Since TMD can be caused by a wide variety of issues, ranging from the dental to the psychological, we recommend contacting both your dental insurance provider and your health insurance provider and asking them which costs they can cover.
Dr. Agamov highly recommends receiving a professional opinion and treatment to ensure long lasting relief. Until you’re able to see Dr. Agamov, she recommends following these instructions to control your symptoms:
- According to studies conducted for Sage Journals, jaw exercises may increase range of jaw movement and encourage faster recovery than even oral appliance therapy. Colgate offers a detailed list of jaw exercises you can easily do on your own.
- Chew on soft foods that won’t put a lot of stress on your jaw.
- Avoid chewing gum, biting on anything hard, and biting your lip.
- Practice good posture.
- Avoid large jaw movements such as yawning and singing.
- Apply ice or heat in the form of an ice pack or a hot water bottle.
For Effective TMJ Treatment, Contact Dr. Agamov Today!
If you’re experiencing any of the signs of TMD, don’t hesitate to call our Sharon, MA office and set up an appointment with Dr. Agamov. That way, you can receive effective TMJ treatment tailored to your unique needs and experience long-lasting relief from TMJ issues.
You can contact our Sharon, MA dental office by dialing (781) 236-3586. You can also request an appointment online by clicking the button at the bottom of the page and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly. Neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Agamov is ready to help so you can start enjoying a pain free smile.