If you suffer from…
…headaches, back or neck pain, earaches, ringing in the ears, clicking or grating sounds when opening and closing your mouth, tired jaws or pain when chewing, dizziness or fainting, difficulty swallowing or numbness in your hands, then contact us today!
…which includes reduction of inflammation and muscle spasms in conjunction with an easy to wear, comfortable dental orthotic (splint) begins once a thorough diagnosis has been made. The orthotic covers the lower teeth holding the jaw in proper alignment, reducing tension in the jaw joints, and allowing them to heal. Patients who clench or grind will need to wear special nighttime splints in order to reduce muscle spasms, headaches and other symptoms.
To schedule an appointment with Pacific Dental Care and Fastbraces®, please call us at (925) 426-1300 or request an appointment online.
Frequently a team approach involving medical doctors, neurologists, ear, neck and throat specialists, chiropractors, and therapists is necessary to diagnose and treat patients with jaw joint, neck and spine dysfunctions. The objective of Phase 1 would be to stabilize the lower jaw in its correct position in order to reduce the patient’s symptoms, improve range of motion of the jaw and reduce muscle soreness. Sometimes a second phase of treatment will be necessary. We will discuss the various treatment options following the successful completion of Phase 1 jaw stabilization.
- Do You Suffer From Temporomandibular Disorder?
- Normal Jaw Joint
- Displaced Disc
- What is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
It means jaw joint, and it connects the lower jaw to the skull. It allows for the opening and closing of the mouth. This is the most used joint in the entire body and it affects our ability to talk, chew and swallow.
What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?
TMD frequently occurs when the lower jaw is not in the proper position relative to the upper jaw. When the lower jaw goes back too far, this results in the protective disc becoming anteriorly displaced as per diagram. Some common causes of TMD are clenching or grinding habits, your lower jaw too far back causing an anteriorly displaced disc, a deep dental overbite, a bad bite and/or teeth missing, trauma to the head or neck, automobile accidents or a whiplash injury, bad posture or stress on the body or intubation procedures in hospitals.
Patients visit many health care providers in search of answers to their problems as the following symptoms of TMD masquerade as many other conditions:
- Headaches, back pain, neck pain or stiffness
- Earaches, congestion or ringing in the ears
- Tired jaws or pain when chewing
- Limited jaw opening or locking
- Dizziness and fainting
- Difficulty closing the teeth together or swallowing
- Facial pain or pain behind the eyes
- Numbness in the hands
- Clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening and closing the mouth
If you have any of these symptoms you could possibly have a problem with your jaw (TMJ). Prolonged spasms of facial muscles can lead to chronic muscle pain and trigger points (knotted muscles), which can send pain to different areas of your body such as your neck, eyes, ears, shoulders or lower back which can make it difficult to diagnose.
Your initial visit involves acquiring a complete medical and dental history and a TMJ Health Questionnaire, which helps indicate the seriousness of your problem. Further tests involve evaluation of the degree of muscle soreness upon palpation as well as whether the movements of the jaw are normal. Further diagnostic testing includes complete head, neck and posture evaluation utilizing state-of-the-art x-ray equipment to assist with visualization of the jaw joints and other related structures. Measurements of dysfunctional muscle activity and abnormal jaw movements will be achieved using computerized diagnostic modalities. These tests will assist us with making the proper diagnosis.