Leesburg Family Smiles is here to help you get relief from the pain and discomfort of TMJ without surgery. Dr. Collazo has extensive training, experience, and is a recognized expert in the evaluation and treatment of TMJ disorders. Make an appointment for an evaluation today.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
- Do you suffer from chronic headaches?
- Do you experience pain in your face, ears, below or in front of your ears or headaches for which your medical doctor has not found a cause?
- Do you have episodes when your jaw feels that it locks open or shut?
These conditions may be the result of a difficulty with your teeth or gums as well as problems in the jaw area due to Temporomandibular Disorders or TMD.
Headaches, chronic facial pain and jaw pain can all be very frustrating both to the patient and healthcare provider. Discomfort can range from mild to a total disruption of your normal activities. Our goal is to find the source of your difficulty in order for you to experience the joy when your pain and suffering are gone.
TMD, or Temporomandibular Disorders, are a group of diseases that can involve the jaw joints, the muscles that control jaw movement and the way the upper and lower teeth come together. When an imbalance occurs in these areas it can result in muscle fatigue, spasm and/or joint dysfunction, and even changes in the teeth, which in turn cause a variety of symptoms, unique for each person.
These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, for the temporomandibular joint.
While TMD’s can simply occur in children and adults, they can also be caused by an accident, stress, or repeated traumas such as extensive gum chewing, nail biting, or other such habits.
Leesburg Family Smiles focuses a significant amount of their practice on the treatment of these conditions
Symptoms of TMD
When your teeth are not in proper relation to each other and to your jaw joints, the jaw can shift to a new position in an attempt to compensate for the misalignment. The conflict between the biting surfaces of the teeth and the jaw joints then generates stress on the muscles and tendons of the jaw joint, causing pain and other problems, such as
- Muscular aches
- Face, neck, shoulders and back pain
- Ringing, hissing, or buzzing in the ear
- Uncomfortable bite – “bite feels off”
- Joint noises
- Locking of the jaw
- Decreased jaw function
- and many others
The key in successfully treating headaches and facial pain produced by Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) is to make a correct diagnosis. In our office, as part of your comprehensive examination, we will thoroughly evaluate your jaw joints, muscles and bite. If you are experiencing headache, facial pain or present any of the signs and symptoms of TMD, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your condition in order to decide if treatment is appropriate for you.
When it comes to TMD treatment, the importance of early treatment cannot be overstated. The condition can advance in stages and get progressively worse. The chance of successful treatment increases substantially the earlier the treatment is accomplished. Successful treatment results can be the end to the cycle of pain and dependency on pain medication.
The Initial Phase of Treatment aims to eliminate the active temporomandibular joint/muscle pain and learn more about the cause of the problem. The treatment could range from home care instructions to decrease the crisis to an organized program aimed to decrease the inflammation, resolve the symptoms and learn about the cause of the problem. We may use the services of medical specialists, adjunct medications, and physical therapy to aid in your treatment.
Orthotic Appliance Therapy is an organized treatment protocol in which a custom-made splint (upper or lower appliance) creates an artificial physiologic biting surface. The goal is to alleviate undue stress and force, providing for better joint, muscle function and comfort. As you wear the appliance, your bite on it will change, requiring additional adjustments.
The signs and symptoms will very likely diminish or disappear as the treatment progresses. When the bite stabilizes on the appliance and the joints and muscles are comfortable, you will have experienced how your teeth might feel when your mouth is restored. The length of the treatment depends on your situation and the signs and symptoms with which you started.
The Second Phase of Treatment aims to correct the cause of the problem. Treatment options may include:
- Reshaping: Occlusal reshaping changes the surface of the teeth and improves how the teeth fit.
- Restoration: Changes the shape of the teeth and improve how the teeth fit.
- Relocation: Orthodontics can be used to improve the position of the teeth and how the teeth fit.
- Resection: Surgery may be indicated for extreme cases where the joint or jaw is badly damaged