Monday, March 11th, 2013

TMJ disorder is a painful condition that leads to jaw pain and refers to a misalignment of the temporomandibular joint, which is where the mandible, or lower jaw, meets the upper jaw near the temple. A problem with this joint can create a wide range of symptoms, making it sometimes difficult to determine the exact cause.

Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ can occur due to misaligned teeth, chipped, broken or missing teeth, or because of bruxis (tooth grinding). TMJ  can create a variety of problems. These can include:

*Recurring severe headaches similar to migraines
*Clicking in the jaw
*Earaches
*Pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back

Some of these symptoms could be indicative of problems more severe than TMJ. For this reason, other possible causes, such as cancer, should be ruled out before a final diagnosis of TMJ is made.

How TMJ is Treated

Once TMJ is officially diagnosed, a neuromuscular dentist can provide treatment that will properly realign the jaw and eliminate or reduce the symptoms. First, the dentist must determine the proper alignment of the jaw. Dr. Petkevis will then perform bite correction procedures in his Chester Springs dental office.  Occlusal equilibration, better known as bite correction or TMJ correction, is the process of adjusting the alignment of the teeth for optimal fitThere are several ways in which TMJ can be treated, and the exact approach differs depending upon an individual’s specific needs. Typical approaches to TMJ treatment include:

*Veneers
*Crowns
*Traditional orthodontic treatment or Invisalign
*Orthotics to prevent teeth grinding

In severe cases, surgery might be required to reposition the bone. An experienced dentist with training in neuromuscular dentistry can provide information about how to best approach treatment for an individual case of TMJ. Neuromuscular dentistry is a specialized branch of dental practice, requiring special training that is only available in certain dental schools, so be sure to look for a dentist with appropriate training and experience.

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