People who suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Chronic headaches, including migraines
- Unexplained facial, neck, shoulder, jaw, or low back pain
- Tingling in the hands or fingers
- A jaw that pops or clicks
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Inability to fully open or close the mouth
- Chronic earaches
Fact: 10 Million Americans suffer from TMJ-related pain at any given time.
Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Origin of TMJ Dysfunction
TMJ issues arise when the two small joints in front of your ears malfunction. Normally, these joints control the smooth opening and closing of your jaw. When aggravated by physical or emotional stress, bite misalignment, or injury, these joints and their associated muscles and nerves become over stimulated, and pain ensues.
There is currently tremendous debate over the ideal jaw position. One philosophy that some dentists adhere to is neuromuscular dentistry. It should be understood that this is just one approach to determining the jaw position. It should also be understood that some of the most respected dentists in the world doubt its usefulness.
Dental Treatment for TMJ Disorder
Dr. Salivonchik is experienced in evaluating and treating this widespread condition. He’ll perform a comprehensive examination of your head, neck, mouth, and jaw to isolate and treat the source of distress with TMJ therapy. Our patients with TMJ disorder experience great success with oral appliance therapy – a personalized, non-invasive treatment to alleviate jaw joint pain and renew healthy function.
Your custom-made oral appliance, or nightguard, will fit comfortably between the top and bottom teeth in the front of your mouth and hold your jaw slightly forward. As stressed jaw muscles relax into their ideal arrangement, tension releases and nerve impulses signaling pain decrease. The oral appliance also eliminates the clenching and grinding that often accompanies TMJ disorder and that’s so damaging to natural teeth and dental restorations. A three-month regimen of nightly oral appliance therapy alleviates distress for many patients, although some patients require longer-term treatment.
To complement your oral appliance therapy, we’ll provide information on stress reduction, as well as diet and lifestyle changes, to inhibit the return of TMJ pain.
Call our Coplay, Pa dental office today to schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Salivonchik. Our dental practice, located in the Lehigh Valley, serves Coplay, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, The Poconos, and surrounding areas.