Millions of people across the United States struggle with TMJ disorders, although many of them may not realize this is their problem. You may be one of them. If you experience frequent headaches or earaches, this could be a symptom of a problem with your jaw.
If you are having jaw pains or stiffness, let Dr. Mark W. Wilhelm take a look at what’s happening in your mouth. At our Woodbury, MN, dentist office, we have the training and technology to diagnose and treat TMJ problems.
To find out how we can help, call (651) 319-9064 or request an appointment with our online form.
A Short Explanation Of TMJ Disorders
Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, are the joints on each side of your face that allow you to open and close your jaw. Most people will experience TMJ problems at one time or another. Some people will experience chronic issues that are TMJ disorders.
The symptoms can include headaches and earaches, jaw pain and jaw stiffness, as mentioned above. TMJ disorders also can lead to face, neck, upper back, and shoulder pain in some cases.
The causes of TMJ problems can be as varied as its symptoms. Arthritis, traumatic injuries, illnesses, and alignment issues can play a role. Teeth grinding is another common cause of TMJ disorders.
Your TMJ troubles could be the result of one or a combination of factors. This is also why Dr. Wilhelm has invested in tools to help in diagnosing and treating TMJ problems.
Using Technology To Fight TMJ Disorders
TMJ issues can be complicated, and we want to be sure that we are doing everything we can to help our patients.
To explain what we mean, here is a description of tools we may use as part of your treatment.
➡ Joint Vibration Analysis (JVA)
This tool measures the sound made when you open and close your mouth. This is something we may not be able to detect with our human ears, but the JVA is able to measure the sounds created by friction in the jaw. In a healthy jaw, this friction is minimal.
That may seem like a small thing at first, but measuring those sounds can help us do many things. We can determine more precisely where the vibrations are occurring and the intensity of those vibrations. Tracking changes in those vibrations will help us know whether a particular treatment is working.
➡ Jaw Tracker
This works when we place small magnets on your teeth. When this is connected to computer software, it allows us to measure the movements and mobility of your jaw.
When combined with the JVA readings, this gives us a better understanding of where the problems are occurring and how it affects the function of your jaw.
➡ Electromyography (EMG)
TMJ disorder can be the result of problems with muscles that connect to your joints. With our EMG, we have a way to measure activity in four muscles on each side of your face.
The EMG readings can help identify areas of concern with regard to muscle movements.
The T-Scan measures the pressure at different points in your mouth. By making these measurements, we can determine if there are imbalances in your jaw.
This can help find out if the alignment of your jaw is a factor in your TMJ issues.
Treating TMJ Disorders
The proper treatment for anyone with a TMJ disorder will depend on the specific factors contributing to their condition.
For people who grind their teeth in their sleep, a custom-fitted mouthguard may be part of the treatment. These mouthguards can serve as a barrier to prevent grinding. They also can help by changing the resting position of the jaw. As your body adjusts to this new resting position, it may alleviate the added pressure on the TMJ.
Another option may be MLS Laser Therapy. MLS means Multiwave Locked System. This advanced treatment can help your facial muscles relax, which can provide relief to sore, painful muscles.
We Want To Help You
We want every one of our patients to feel comfortable and pain-free. That’s true both when you are at our office and when you leave.
By working together, we can determine if you have a TMJ problem, assess the severity of the problem, and find the treatment that is right for you.
To get started, you need to make an appointment at our dentist office in Woodbury, MN. You can do this by filling out our online form or by calling (651) 319-9064.