Archive for the Neuromuscular Category

TMJ Disorder

Posted in Dental, Neuromuscular, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by dukeslc

What is TMJ/ TMD?

TMJ, or Tempromandibular Joint Disorder, is a misalignment of the jaw joint.  The Tempromandibular Joint is just in front of the ear and can be felt when  opening and closing the mouth.   Some with this disorder will feel clicking or popping of the jaw if the joint is incorrectly aligned.  TMJ disorder is generally a chronic, degenerative disorder  that will progressively increase over a period of time.

What causes TMJ/TMD? 

 In most cases, TMJ disorder stems from malocclusion of the teeth.  Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth don’t correctly close together and are misaligned.  Malocclusion can occur from accidents or other trauma, incorrect orthodontics, poor restorative dentistry, or simply how the teeth erupted in the mouth as a child.  When the teeth are misaligned, it causes a person to adjust their bite in order to chew and swallow.  This abnormal adjustment causes the muscles to be strained and can result in pain throughout the face, head, arms, shoulders, and back.  Many patients are not aware of the causes of these pains, especially if orthodontics (braces) has given them straight, beautiful teeth.  A slight to severe misalignment of the teeth can slowly cause excess wear and damage to the TMJ joint.

What are the Symptoms?

TMJ disorder causes pain of the hard and soft tissues, such as the muscles and nerves in the face.  The strain placed on these tissues can range from mild to severe and can cause anything from infrequent pain to constant, unrelenting pain.  Some people have headaches, jaw aches, neck and shoulder pain, popping or locking of the jaw joint, or ringing of the ears.  Most people who experience these symptoms will regularly dismiss it as an ear infection or stress.  Most will go undiagnosed for years until the symptoms begin to occur more frequently or the pain becomes greater.  If you experience frequent symptoms, it is important to ask your Dentist to check the alignment of your teeth.  The sooner the misalignment is diagnosed and corrected, the less damage will be done to the Tempromandibular Joint.

How is TMD corrected?

There are some dentists who recommend a full mouth reconstruction for those with the finances and time.  This involves placing crowns and new filings on nearly all the teeth.  For those who do not want to reduce or disturb perfectly good teeth, the BEST OPTION is Neuromuscular Therapy in conjunction with an Oral Appliance.

The Best Treatment

At your first appointment, Dr. Duke will use soft Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) stimulation and gentle massage to find the most relaxed position for your jaw to be in. Once the correct muscle alignment is found, an impression is taken for the oral appliance, also known as an Oral Orthodic Appliance.

Your second appointment will consist of TENS  and the fitting of the new oral appliance. This appliance will correct TMJ disorder by providing the correct bite which will result in relaxed muscles and a decrese in symptoms.

For the first several weeks you will be instructed to return to the office for occasional adjustments and TENS. This will aid your jaw muscles to slowly adjust and relax into the new position the appliance is creating.

Generally our patients feel an immediate relief from pain and TMD symptoms. The realignment of the bite restores the teeth, jaw, joints, muscles, and nerves to their optimal position and the pain disappears! Our goal is to provide you with life-long relief without prescribing invasive oral surgery.

We have had perfect success with each patient we have treated for TMJ/TMD. Dr Duke successfully treats TMJ disorder with non-surgical correction and neuromuscular therapy. We are offer FREE CONSULTATIONS for all who are interested in being uniquely evaluated by Dr. Duke. If you would like to learn more about our office, please check out our website. Call our Salt Lake City Dental Office for a FREE CONSULTATION @ 801-355-2202. We look forward to meeting you and providing you with pain-free dentistry!


Tempromandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

Posted in Dental, Neuromuscular with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by dukeslc

Have you experienced clicking or soreness of the jaw, headaches, or locking of the jaw?  For some people these problems are infrequent, short-term, and mild. For others, this may be a frequent, constant problem that can be very painful and cause permanent damage on teeth or the joint. Our office is the Salt Lake City TMJ office of choice! We treat all of our patients with the best technology, excellent care, and unique custom therapy to achieve the best results possible. Each of our patients have had quick relief from pain and are treated for long-term success. Our TMJ Salt Lake City dental office is located downtown with easy access to I-15. Call our office today for a FREE CONSULTATION and let us rid you of pain for a better, happier life!

What is TMJD?

Tempromandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ or TMD, is a term for inflammation of the Tempromandibular Joint. The Tempromandibular Joint connects the lower jaw to the skull and can be located as an indentation directly in front of the ear.  This disorder can range from mild to acute and can have several symptoms such as headaches, jaw stiffness, pain in opening or closing the mouth, or locking of the jaw. This can be caused by many things including arthritis, trauma, dislocation on the jaw, or malocclusion due to severe dental decay. 

TMJD can also have a neuromuscular affect on your body. To understand this, simply imagine that your body is filled with interconnecting wires that stem from your spinal cord.  Nerves and muscles associated with the Tempromandibular Joint connect with nerves through your entire face and down your neck. These connections are often the reason people with TMJD can have severe headaches and very sore neck and shoulder muscles.  

What are the Symptoms of TMJD?

Headaches can be unbearable and if you suffer from frequent, long-lasting tension headaches or migrane headaches, you may have TMJ disorder. Other common symptoms experienced are jaw, ear or facial pain and even decreased hearing.  Clicking or popping of the jaw and neck, as well as shoulder pain, are the frequent effects of TMJ disorder. Even though TMJ is a common disorder, many people are unaware that they have this condition and continue enduring the pain.

What are the Treatment Options?

Depending on the cause of the disorder, there are several options for pain relief and long-lasting solutions. 

Reconstructive Dentistry:

Malocclusion means that your upper and lower teeth do not close together in the correct way and are misaligned, causing strain on muscles and ligaments. If the disorder is due to a lack of proper occlusion, or incorrect biting due to tooth decay or grinding, there are two options available. The first is the use of orthodontics which can straighten teeth and place them in their proper occlusal bite to relieve strain on the jaw muscles.  The second option is Reconstructive dentistry. This is a permanent option and is rarely used because it involves replacing dental fillings or placing new crowns to align the teeth in the proper bite and relieve pain.

Repositioning of the Jaw:

If the disorder is due to the joint being out of socket, the pain can originate from very strained, if not damaged, muscles, ligaments, or bone.  One option to correct this is called Surgical Repositioning of the Jaw.  A simpler solution is the Relocation of the Jaw through Tensing therapy, Stretching of the jaw muscles, or careful manipulation to help aid the correct joint position.

Medication and Therapy:

Just like in all the body’s joints, cartilage and ligaments cushion the joint as in fits correctly in the socket of the skull. Should this cartilage be aggravated or inflamed it can be painful to move the jaw and can cause significant headaches. Arthritis can affect the Tempromandibular Joint by causing inflammation, soreness, stiffness of the joint, and pain. This is often treated with anti-inflammatory medication and Tensing Therapy to calm the muscles around the joint and allow for healing to occur.

The BEST Permanent Solution: Tensing Therapy and Orthodic Splint:

In TMJD the muscles are unbalanced and cause strain on the jaw, face, and neck. The use of K7 technology in our Salt Lake City dental office lets us know where the strain is originating from and how to adjust the jaw for optimal balance and relaxation. Our Dental Office uses Mandibular repositioning splints which move the jaw, ligaments and muscles into a new position. In all our patients we see marked improvements with this simple solution. This Orthodic Splint is similar in appearance to a retainer or nightguard and are custom-made according to the necessary bite and jaw placement. This Orthodic therapy requires that you wear the unobtrusive Orthodic splint during the day and night.

Our Salt Lake City dental office also uses Tensing therapy, which is an electric muscle therapy to relax the jaw, face, and neck muscles to ease pain. The combination of the splint and Tensing has awarded us with excellent success and very happy patients! Every person responds differently to Orthodic therapy, however the vast majority of patients find their symptoms instantly decreased.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms or would like more information about our office and your treatment options check out our website or call us at 801-355-2202. Our Salt Lake City dental office is open Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm. We look forward to helping you achieve a pain-free, happier life!