TMJ Treatment & Neuromuscular Dentistry
What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a painful condition in which the temporomandibular joint, the main joint in the mouth, is overworked or misaligned. It can lead to headaches, oral and neck pain, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth. Many patients describe an audible popping or clicking sound when yawning or chewing. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often mistaken for stress or something else other than a bad bite!
- jaw pain
- pain / tenderness in your face, neck, jaw joint
- clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing your mouth to chew
- difficulty opening and closing the mouth
Symptoms can vary for each individual patient, contact Dr. Frey to learn more about TMJ symptoms.
See How Neuromuscular Dentistry Relieved Fofi from TMJ Disorder
TMJ specialist Dr. Frey is a leading expert in neuromuscular dentistry and has treated hundreds of patients with persistent pain from TMJ disorder. Neuromuscular dentistry emphasizes the importance of the position of the jaw, teeth, and surrounding tissues.
TMJ treatment is divided into two phases: Phase 1 is curing the symptoms of TMJ disorder, and Phase 2 is preserving the results of the treatment permanently with restorative, or orthodontic procedures. Phase 2 can also involve permanent splint therapy, bite adjustments and doing nothing.
- PHASE ONE: In phase one, a TENS machine (see below) is used to locate your jaw’s most relaxed natural position. We call this the “physiological resting position.” This machine will de-program overworked jaw muscles with tiny, relaxing electrical impulses. We can also de-compress the joint using other exercises. We prove that the jaw muscles are relaxed by evaluating EMG (electromyography data – see below) which is like looking at a Richter Scale measuring an earthquake. We then capture this position with high-quality molding material, and realign your bite into the optimal, relaxed, position.
You will then wear a custom shaped orthotic to rehabilitate the jaw muscles. Don’t worry, the orthotic rests atop your existing teeth and looks perfectly natural. It will not alter your speech, and no one will notice you’re wearing it. Almost immediately, and more so as your muscles acclimate, you will notice that headaches, back and neck pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo, and many other symptoms associated with TMJ will disappear.
- PHASE TWO: Phase two of the treatment begins once you’re completely comfortable with your new bite. In order to sustain the results of your TMJ treatment, Dr. Frey may recommend additional cosmetic dental procedures as part of a full-mouth rehabilitation plan or orthodontics depending on your personal situation. There are many options to choose from once your TMJ symptoms have vanished.
Jaw tracking instrument
Sensors in this jaw tracker will allow us to see the teeth without the cheeks getting in the way (worn once in order for Dr. Frey to obtain data). It is an unobstructed view inside your mouth. Perfect for us to capture your bite in the correct physiological position.
What is A TENS Machine?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS or TNS) is a device that will send an electrical impulse to the nerve that innervates all the muscles of the TMJ. We use this machine to relax the jaw muscles (low earthquakes on the Richter scale). We use the TENS to buzz all the tension out of the muscles before we capture your physiological correct bite position.
what is Electromyography (EMG)?
Getting the EMG data as low as possible is the key to getting you out of pain! Low EMG’s tells us that you are relaxed and in a healthy position. Using TENS machine and other exercises to decompress the jaw joint will help get these muscles as calm as possible.
schedule a consultation
If you are suffering from jaw pain then you might have TMJ. Call (310) 276-4537 to schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills TMJ Dentist, Dr. Frey.