There are around 750 general dentists in the Kansas City metro area. These dentists vary considerably in their experience with Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder or TMJ Dysfunction (TMJD). You have peace of mind that our dentist in Overland Park, Shane Nelson, DDS, has the advanced training and tools to resolve TMJ symptoms at the “source” of the problem. In doing so, your quality of life is restored.
The trouble with TMJDs
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your face function like a “hinge.” They connect the skull to the jaw and facilitate smooth movements. This allows you to chew food, as well as speak comfortably and efficiently. The TMJs are connected to many parts, ligaments, muscles, and bones. Ideally, these components work together in harmony like a well-oiled machine. However, any time these parts become imbalanced or “stressed,” TMJ symptoms can arise. These symptoms include radiating facial pain, chronic headaches, jaw stiffness, earaches, tinnitus (buzzing in the ears), popping or clicking sound when opening and closing the mouth and more. These problems can be quite severe and sustained, and they may evolve or worsen over time. Persistent conditions can be quite debilitating and interfere with your day-to-day life.
Fortunately, at Dentistry by Shane Nelson, we have a long track record of successfully and noninvasively treating TMJDs and their wide-ranging symptoms. We view TMJD diagnosis and therapy through the lens of Gneuromuscular (GNM) dentistry. “Gneuromuscular” is a blend of “gnathology” and “neuromuscular” principles. Gnathology refers to the study of the jaw, while neuromuscular relates to the nerves and muscles. So, GNM dentistry focuses on assessing jaw and neuromuscular function and addressing imbalances with various therapies tailored to your needs.
Treating TMJ disorder with GNM at our practice includes a combination of the following diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and tools:
- K7 Evaluation System is a computerized technology to analyze characteristics such as how the jaws are positioned accurately, the force of patients’ “bite,” and jaw-related imbalances. In this manner, the system helps us better understand the root cause of your pain and other troubling symptoms and informs our options for treatment.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, delivers short bursts of low-frequency electrical impulses to precisely targeted issues. TENS therapy, in turn, safely triggers neural stimulation to ease the pain signals, which travel from the source of pain to the CNS (Central Nervous System). It presents a conservative, well-tolerated alternative to more invasive treatments and injections that are also associated with risks and undesirable side effects.
- Advanced oral appliances are designed to encourage optimal oral position and posture, which results in relaxation of the head and neck muscles. Spasms are relieved by returning the jaw to a normal position, where it is no longer compressed, and relaxation is encouraged. Orthopedic devices are customized to your unique oral anatomy and your specific correction needs.
These and other diagnostic and restorative technologies and therapies are designed to lift the tension at the source of TMJ problems and support long-term healing. These approaches do not mask symptoms or “treat” symptoms without treating the actual root cause. You deserve to eat your favorite foods without pain and to go a day without debilitating headaches. Contact (913) 297-7800 to schedule your TMJ consultation with Dr. Nelson.
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