Is your jaw giving you trouble? Do you suffer from teeth clenching or teeth grinding? Well if you do or know someone who does, the best thing you can do is understand your jaw and how it functions. This useful information will serve as a great tool in understanding how to deal with your jaw. As we discussed in our previous blogs, jaw pain can be caused by a variety of things and can present with multiple symptoms. Identifying those symptoms is the first step in getting some help. So, if you haven’t read it yet, give it a quick read before we delve deeper into some of the possible treatments for TMJ relief.
Now that we understand how the jaw works and where the pain is coming from. The next step is to figure out how we can prevent the pain. TMJ, or Temporo Mandibular joint syndrome, is characterized by pain and dysfunction in the jaw joints. TMJ can be caused by a number of different conditions; and because there are a number of causes of TMJ, there are several treatment options ranging from medication to surgery. However, before we can decide on the type of treatment you should get, it is imperative to get a diagnosis. We need to see what works properly and what is damaged. The process of figuring out all of this as well as how to prevent pain is called a TMJ screening. Here’s what you can expect:
Those who suffer from TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) frequently find their lives disrupted by the frequent and sudden onset of pain and limited range of motion around the jaw. A TMJ screening is a diagnostic test used to identify the areas of the mouth where there are problems in the oral-facial region.
It is essential because of the severity of the symptoms. The screening will help your doctor identify if you have TMJ or exclude any other causes of pain while treating you effectively and properly.
Here at Clermont Dental, our TMJ screenings include the following items:
- A Diagnosis questionnaire (where we ask specific questions about you, your TMJ pain, and discomfort).
- A Health history update- (medical history, dental history, and psychological history)
- A comprehensive examination of your mouth
- A Head and Neck examination
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Observation – where we look at your Range of motion, facial symmetry, posture, and occlusion to mention a few
Once the screening is complete, Dr. Safavi will discuss the various treatment options that are applicable to you.
Now when it comes to treatment, there is no such thing as a universal TMJ treatment method. Proper TMJ treatment requires diagnosis and therapy as complex as the condition itself. To provide you with an optimum bite that gives you a beautiful smile as well as healthy muscles and joints, your dentist will evaluate and study the complex relationship between your teeth and jaw joints and then apply neuromuscular principles to build your bite.
There are several different treatment options available, however, for this blog post, we will be focusing on TENS therapy.
What is TENS Therapy?
(TENS) also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a therapy that involves the use of low-voltage electric currents to treat pain. A small device delivers the current at or near nerves. TENS therapy blocks or changes your perception of pain.
In our case, the TENS device will send electrical impulses to the nerves in your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) as a way to relax your tense jaw muscles to allow diagnosis and treatment of your TMJ symptoms. The TENS system is completely painless so there is no need to be anxious when receiving this treatment. Once your jaw joints are in a relaxed position, Dr. Safavi will then reevaluate the balance of your bite in its relaxed state and find the ideal at-rest position for your bite.
Why is it important?
Other than its immediate advantage of relieving pain, TENS therapy is important because it helps us establish your true bite. Rather than relying on your present jaw position as being the best for you, your dentist will use this additional objective information to determine if your bite should be left as is or be adjusted to a more optimal occlusion.
Benefits of TENS Therapy
- It is a non-invasive method for relieving pain.
- Reduced intake of pain medications, some of which can be addictive.
- Added insight into what is going on behind just the appearance of your smile
- Addresses issues that affect your overall health and well-being
- Improved sleep patterns
- Decreased pain signals
- Increases motion and function
- Natural massager
- Retrains nerves effectively
- It reduces inflammation
- Provides quicker rehabilitation and reduces fear
- Reduces fatigue and tiredness
- Affordable pain relief solution
TENS therapy provides much-needed pain relief for people suffering from TMJ pain. It also allows for your dentist to reevaluate the balance of your bite in its relaxed state and get to the root cause of your pain. From there consistent treatment and regular TENS therapy will help subside your TMJ problems and improve your quality of life.
Let us take care of you and reduce your pain. Schedule your screening with us today!