Relief from chronic headaches, back and neck pain, and tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) is available at the dentist’s office. While they seem like curious conditions to be treated by a dentist, these problems are among the common symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, also referred to as TMJ dysfunction, or TMD. As dentists, we are in a great position to not only treat TMD effectively and for lasting relief, but we are also on the front lines of detecting TMJ problems.
Why should I visit a dentist near me in Overland Park, KS?
TMD problems refer to dysfunction with the Temporomandibular Joints and their associated structures and tissues. These joints connect the temporal bones of the skull to the mandible or lower jaw. The TMJs behave like “hinges,” which facilitate the lower jaw movement required to perform those essential functions that we take for granted. As dental professionals, we are extensively trained and knowledgeable of the oral anatomy. We can detect the telltale signs of disorders related to the TMJs and interconnected muscles, cartilage, discs, and other structures. We can identify the source of the pain and other problems and then build a treatment plan that effectively addresses the root cause.
What are the causes of TMD?
TMJ problems are not 100% understood. We know that many factors increase your risk of developing TMD or that play a role in the development of these disorders. At Dentistry by Shane Nelson DDS, we are very familiar with many of these conditions; for instance, if your upper and lower teeth are misaligned (“bad bite”), it can stress the joints. Even worn-down teeth or old restorations can place uneven stress on other teeth and related structures. Additionally, bruxism (teeth-grinding) often puts extreme pressure on the teeth and TMJs. Since bruxism occurs during sleep or subconsciously in moments of stress or deep concentration, we are often not aware of this behavior and the damage done to our teeth and the rest of our mouths.
How do you treat TMJ disorder?
That depends on what we find during your evaluation at our office! There are several treatment options, and treatment plans may be multi-dimensional. Something as simple as altering a chewing gum or fingernail-biting habit can ease the stress placed on this well-oiled system. We may recommend exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles. By correcting misalignment with orthodontic systems, new dental restorations, or other means, we bring balance and harmony to all the tissues that must work together to function comfortably and adequately. Dr. Nelson may prescribe oral appliance therapy to protect teeth from damage caused by bruxing and also to lift the pressure placed on your joints.
We at Dentistry by Shane Nelson DDS are also big advocates of both holistic and Gneuromuscular dental principles. GNM refers to “gnathology,” your bite and jaw function, and “neuromuscular science,” how nerves and muscles function. So, we take a big picture approach to restoring the balance supporting sustained healthy function and comfort. Benefit from our sophisticated techniques and technologies today. Call (913) 297-7800 to schedule your consultation.
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