Nearly a quarter of the population suffers from some form of craniomandibular (CMD) / temporomandibular disorder (TMD) which may include head, neck and facial symptoms. Unfortunately, many of these sufferers are misdiagnosed with everything from migraines and tension headaches to neuritis, neuralgia or even psychosomatic illness. As the true cause goes unrecognized, patients may be led to prolonged drug therapy, labeled as hypochondriacs or dismissed as incurable.
Common Symptoms of TMD Include:
Muscles, Teeth and Joints
An evaluation at the TMJ & Dental Sleep Therapy Centre is about more than just teeth. It is also about the role that the muscles play in the relationship between the teeth, bone and the alignment of the jaw with the rest of the body. Physical and emotional stress can also be a factor in tight, tense muscles which reduce the adaptive capabilities of the jaw. Usually, the patient can not voluntarily relax the muscles that are held in constant tension. Depending on the individual circumstances, muscles may be in a constant state of hyperactivity. This is due to subconscious programming (proprioception) or because they are in the self-perpetuating “pain-spasm-pain” cycle.
Our practice utilizes advanced computerized electronics such as joint vibration analysis and jaw tracking to acquire necessary data. This provides a far greater degree of accuracy of evaluating the jaw in function than the human eye or stethoscope can detect. Special radiographic studies may be done as necessary.
Positive findings in these studies usually indicate that the dentist is the supporting provider to the referring health professional.
Working together with the physician and other health professionals brings effective “team management” to the patient to correct the problem.
Dentistry and Technology
The jaw is literally one end of the postural (skeletal) chain. When teeth do not fit together properly, it can result in muscle tension of the face and jaw. This condition, or the trauma of accidental injury, can result in a state of sustained elevation of activity in these muscles. A prime example is the delayed onset of muscles spasm following whiplash injury. Prolonged spasm of facial muscles can lead to chronic or transient muscle pain, often perceived in other areas (called “referred pain”) and thus, subject to misdiagnosis.
A wide range of diagnostic methods are available to identify these problems. Each method is used only as needed in each individual case.
These tests might include:
When medical evaluation and tests have not revealed the “cause” of symptoms…
Dentistry may be the answer!
Consult with us for undiagnosed head, neck, facial pain, whiplash injuries, jaw malposition or TM joint arthritis. Dentistry brings a new approach to diagnosis and treatment along with providing objective, fully documented case reports.